Algy perched near the top of a tall spruce tree in the wee wood, and gazed at the moon as she sank down through the spiky branches. He wondered whether – if he flew fast enough – he could catch her before she fell behind the dark hill beyond the trees…

The moon shone brightly on the calm waters of the quiet loch, and lit up the clouds as they scurried across the cold night sky.

Algy perched on a branch near the water, just listening to the lap lap lap of the water on the stony shore, so different from the noisy pounding of the ocean waves on his own sandy beach. It was peaceful beside the loch on such a beautiful night, and Algy was thinking of one or two of his special friends who celebrate their birthdays this weekend. He sends them extra special fluffy birthday hugs, and hopes that they will have a truly happy time 🙂

Have a peaceful and happy weekend, everybody xoxo

Algy discovered that being cold and wet all day is exceedingly tiring, so as soon as the sleety snow had stopped falling he made himself a comfortable nest among the dead bracken stalks and immediately dropped off to sleep. And as he dozed fitfully among the chilly patches of bright, white snow on the open hillside, he dreamed that he was sitting in a beautiful cherry tree, alive with the dancing white petals of spring…

Although he was exhausted after his exertions on the beach, Algy found it very difficult to get to sleep. A beautiful full moon was dancing in and out of the clouds, and the wind was racing through the Marram grass. Every time he began to drop off he was awakened by the moonlight in his eyes or the roar of the gale. So Algy decided to enjoy the nuit blanche, and moved to a more comfortable spot on the dunes where he could lie back and watch the moon waltz across the sky. He was reminded of a poem by Emily Dickinson:

          The Moon was but a Chin of Gold
          A Night or two ago—
          And now she turns Her perfect Face
          Upon the World below—

          Her Forehead is of Amplest Blonde—
          Her Cheek—a Beryl hewn—
          Her Eye unto the Summer Dew
          The likest I have known—

          Her Lips of Amber never part—
          But what must be the smile
          Upon Her Friend she could confer
          Were such Her Silver Will—

          And what a privilege to be
          But the remotest Star—
          For Certainty She take Her Way
          Beside Your Palace Door—

          Her Bonnet is the Firmament—
          The Universe—Her Shoe—
          The Stars—the Trinkets at Her Belt—
          Her Dimities—of Blue—

[Algy is quoting the poem The Moon was but a Chin of Gold by Emily Dickinson.]

As night fell the storm grew stronger and Algy retreated deeper into his hollow in the sand dunes. The wind shrieked and howled outside, and the waves roared as they surged up the beach, so Algy could only doze fitfully at best. Half asleep and half awake, a song he had once heard – Come Down ma Evenin’ Star – kept running through his head, and he dreamed that a glowing star fell into his tiny sand cave, to keep him company and brighten up the darkness of the stormy night.

[Listen to the version of the song which Algy remembered, sung by the lovely Alice Faye in the 1940 film Lillian Russell.]

In the late spring the West Highland evenings are long and light, and on fine nights the northern sky glows with rich colours when the sun sinks into the sea. So at this time of year Algy often sits up very late in his tree, watching the sun go down, and listening to the other night birds and the murmur of the sea in the distance.

At this time of year the nights are light, and Algy finds it difficult to sleep. There was a beautiful crescent moon sinking down behind the ridge, so Algy found a perch in his tree and watched the moon set. It reminded him of a haiku by Yosa Buson, the Japanese master:

          The short night –
          Broken, in the shallows,
          A crescent moon.