The northerly gale continued to roar across the Scottish Higlands, straight out of the arctic, bringing frequent biting showers of hurtling snow and icy hail. Algy took cover in an evergreen cypress hedge, but it only afforded a modicum of protection, and as his assistant took his photograph, Algy’s reproachful gaze reminded her that possibly a fluffy bird would rather be snuggled up with his fluffy friends in a nice warm place on such a day, instead of being obliged to pose for photos in the teeth of the gale…

In the first half of the summer, the normally drab sand dunes of the West Highlands and Western Isles are full of wonderful surprises 🙂 Algy went exploring, and discovered an amazing patchwork of colour among the spiky grasses. He was interested to see that in this exceptionally dismal and very wet year, in which the sun has rarely deigned to put in any kind of an appearance, there were even more flowers than usual!

This unedited photo is a tribute to the PWS photosworthseeing “no edit Friday”. Algy sends all his friends at PWS a big fluffy hug and a huge wingful of wild thyme xoxo

This post is also dedicated to Algy’s friend mdeanstrauss who may find this and Algy’s next post of interest 🙂

[Visit Algy’s own web site.]

The mist blew away again, and the sun was shining once more. Algy took his wee friend from Germany, the little black teddy, to admire a fine patch of cowslips, and they settled down beside the flowers to enjoy the sunshine. Algy opened his battered book of verse by Longfellow, and started to read to his wee friend:

    When the warm sun, that brings
Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,
‘Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
    The first flower of the plain.

    I love the season well,
When forest glades are teeming with bright forms,
Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell
    The coming-on of storms.

    From the earth’s loosened mould
The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives;
Though stricken to the heart with winter’s cold,
    The drooping tree revives.

    The softly-warbled song
Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings
Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along
    The forest openings.

[Algy is reading the opening stanzas of An April Day, a very early poem by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

A fluffy spring tribute to photosworthseeing’ “No Edit Friday” 🙂

The next morning, Algy ventured back out onto the moor to see what was happening. Intermittent blizzard conditions persisted, but the snow was soft and wet and mixed with sleet, so it tended to melt partially before the next wave swept in. The wind, on the other hand, was fierce and bitter. Algy tried to keep as close to the ground as possible, with his back to the icy blasts. But even in such shelter as he could find, he noticed that all his feathers became aligned in one direction… never a good sign!

As the piercing wind stung his face, Algy remembered a rather unusual poem by Keats:

          O thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
          Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
          And the black elm-tops ‘mong the freezing stars,
          To thee the Spring will be a harvest-time.
          O thou, whose only book has been the light
          Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
          Night after night when Phoebus was away,
          To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
          O fret not after knowledge – I have none,
          And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
          O fret not after knowledge – I have none,
          And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
          At thought of idleness cannot be idle,
          And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Winter’s Wind by the early 19th century English poet John Keats. ]

This “no edit Friday” image (related to the sequence which will follow later) is dedicated to Algy’s good friends at PWS photosworthseeing. Algy had just learned that PWS were starting a new blog for fine art nudes, and that from now on all photographs of unclothed persons would be displayed on the new blog, and not on the main PWS blog.

Algy was very anxious to be proper, and to avoid giving offence. So – just in case PWS decided to reblog his image – he carefully wrapped himself in a shawl for this photo, and hoped that they would excuse the bare legs…

Of course, Algy had to admit that the shawl did also come in very handy for keeping out the cold, and he wondered whether that was why humans were so often seen with clothes on :)))

Algy sends lots of very proper fluffy hugs to all his friends at photosworthseeing PWS xoxoxo

In Britain, Boxing Day (26th December) is traditionally a holiday devoted to fun and games with friends and family, so Algy was delighted when a special little friend came to visit him. And of course they couldn’t start playing games without their party hats, so it was essential to begin by pulling some Christmas crackers…

Algy hopes you will all have a happy day full of fun and games  :-))

Extra fluffy hugs today to Algy’s friends at PWS photosworthseeing, to whom this photo is dedicated for their wonderful weekly “No Edit Friday” event xoxoxoxo

When Algy eventually woke up he was feeling very hungry, so he was delighted to find some tempting Brittlegill mushrooms nearby – although it looked as though some of his forest friends had found them first 🙂

Happy “No Edit Friday” to all Algy’s friends at PWS photosworthseeing xoxo

Algy wonders whether these are Russula vinosa – anybody know?

The wind had died down and the world was still again – at least, for the time being…

Algy found himself a snug perch in the crook of an old oak tree, where a comfortably broad branch was covered with a soft cushion of lichen and moss. Although the day was dull and grey, Algy was feeling in excellent spirits in the calm that followed the storm, so he decided to recite a selection of light verse for the benefit of anyone who might happen to pass by on the old track below. He commenced with this edifying rhyme:

          Be kind and tender to the Frog,
             And do not call him names,
          As ‘Slimy skin,’ or ‘Polly-wog,’
             Or likewise ‘Ugly James,’
          Or ‘Gape-a-grin,’ or ‘Toad-gone-wrong,’  
             Or ‘Billy Bandy-knees’:
          The Frog is justly sensitive
             To epithets like these.
          No animal will more repay
             A treatment kind and fair;
          At least so lonely people say
          Who keep a frog (and, by the way,  
          They are extremely rare).

This post is a contribution to “No Edit Friday”, run each week by Algy’s hardworking friends at PWS photosworthseeing 🙂

[Algy is quoting the poem The Frog by the 20th century Anglo-French writer Hilaire Belloc.]

There are some views which – notwithstanding their popularity with tourists – a fluffy bird just cannot resist. So Algy took advantage of some muted September evening sunshine to gaze out across the bay from one of his favourite vantage points – a point, needless to say, which was always in the teeth of the wind, no matter what direction it was blowing from…

Algy had heard that his friends at PWS photosworthseeing were running a wee challenge each Friday to post an unedited photo (“no edit Friday”), so of course he was determined to join in the fun :-))