Although the forest was fascinating, it was undoubtedly a strange and slightly unnerving environment. Old, storm-felled trees lay higgledy-piggledy across unpleasantly oily black bogs, where bright green mosses thrived, almost glowing in the low light. Beneath the upturned roots were dark caverns which Algy dared not explore, and which the patches of sunlight that filtered through from the forest canopy could not illuminate.

Algy could see that not only did the fallen trees host the growth of many smaller plants which took root in their bark, but many of them lived on, despite being uprooted, putting out new branches which stretched upwards towards the sky. Sometimes a brand new sapling of a different tree sprang forth from a hollow in the trunk of a fallen pine or larch. And high above it all towered the trees that were still standing, their lower branches crowded and bare except around the clearings where others had fallen, but their tops crowned with masses of bright green needles.

Algy gazed at the scene and marvelled… and decided that perhaps it was time to return to his home by the ocean, where everything was fresh and open and bright… 

Feeling thirsty after sitting in the sun for so long, Algy went in search of a nice, cool drink. In some parts of the world it can be difficult to find fresh water, but in the Scottish Highlands there is almost as much water as there is air… So it wasn’t long before Algy found a pretty wee burn running across the moor and tumbling down the hillside. Once he had had enough to drink, Algy perched in a bush over a tiny waterfall and watched the play of light and shadow on the water as it bubbled and gurgled and swirled around before rushing down the hill to meet the sea.

Now that the sky had cleared, the woodland was full of quiet, dark shadows and lovely bright clearings that were buzzing with colour and life. The rosebay willowherb was starting to flower, creating a dazzling patch of magenta among all the green. Algy found himself a perch on a young willow sapling and leaned back happily, watching the bees as they hummed busily around him. He was fascinated by the way the startling magenta flowers seemed to climb patiently up each stem until they eventually reached the top, and wondered whether – if he sat there long enough – he would actually see the flowers move… But the sun was comfortably warm, and the constant hum of the bees was soporific so, before very long, Algy was fast asleep.

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a soothing rest this Sunday xo

Algy understands that many of his American friends celebrate something called Thanksgiving today, and they take the opportunity to consider those things for which they are thankful.

After his excited splash in the sea, Algy very prudently clambered back up onto his lobster pot float, and began to paddle again. As the rays of the sinking sun lit up the water around him, Algy felt truly thankful for just being alive, for being surrounded by the amazing beauty of nature, and above all for being able to share his adventures with all of you. Thank you all so much for making this possible – and a very Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate today xx

Algy Lets Nature Be His Teacher

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The autumn weather remained cold, but it was bright and inviting. Algy felt that he needed a break from his daily chores, so he set off to look for new adventures. After flying for twenty miles or so, he paused to rest on the mossy floor of the temperate rainforest. Watching the light play through the trees while a robin trilled nearby, Algy was reminded of a poem, even though it was intended for a different season. So he offered this advice to his friends:

         Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
         Or surely you’ll grow double:
         Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
         Why all this toil and trouble?

         The sun above the mountain’s head,
         A freshening lustre mellow
         Through all the long green fields has spread,
         His first sweet evening yellow.

         Books! ‘tis a dull and endless strife:
         Come, hear the woodland linnet,
         How sweet his music! on my life,
         There’s more of wisdom in it.

         And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
         He, too, is no mean preacher:
         Come forth into the light of things,
         Let Nature be your teacher.

[From the poem The Tables Turned by William Wordsworth.]