As the sun sank lower through the tangled branches, Algy woke from his afternoon nap. The mosses on the forest floor were beautifully soft but they were also exceedingly damp, so Algy hopped up onto a low twiggy branch to dry his tail feathers, and gazed deep into the heart of the forest.

Over the years, the winter gales had felled many trees, which continued to lie in the spot they had fallen. This made the forest even more impenetrable, but it also provided new life, and new homes for many tiny creatures. Algy was fascinated by this strange environment, so unlike his own airy home by the ocean, and he wondered what it would be like to live in such a place…

Algy hopes that no matter what kind of environment you are inhabiting this weekend, you will have a peaceful and happy time 🙂

There was an incredible tangle of bare branches at the lower levels in the forest, and it was quite impossible to fly through them. Even birds much smaller than Algy had to hop from twig to twig if they wanted to make their way through the dense trees. But it was calm and peaceful, and when the sun managed to filter through to the forest floor is was positively pleasant. Algy relaxed on his deep cushion of moss, dozing on and off…

It was time to leave the beautiful woodlands by the river, so Algy began to make his way home, but the days were much shorter now, and he could not manage to fly all the way before night fell. He decided to rest for a while in the forest which clothed the steep hillside near the deep, dark loch. It was dark in the forest too, even during the day, as the tall trees blocked out much of the light, but Algy was not afraid. He knew that there could be no darkness without light, and sure enough, here and there, patches of bright sunlight filtered through the crowded branches to the forest floor. Settling himself down on a bed of soft moss, Algy drowsily watched the changing patchwork of light through the trees until he fell asleep…

Algy had found an excellent perch in a hole in an ancient oak tree, so he tucked himself in comfortably and settled down to watch the life of the river for a wee while. It was a cool, misty October afternoon and not a great deal was happening, but several ducks were swimming lazily up and down stream, first this way and then that, with no very clear intent, while the river flowed calmly on towards the sea. Suddenly, a robin started to sing his autumn song from a branch nearby; Algy looked up at his pretty little cousin, and smiled 🙂

Algy flew down to the water’s edge and perched on a damp stone, surrounded by a thin carpet of fallen leaves. He had been visiting some dear friends, who were now returning to their home in a warmer, more sheltered land, and for a moment the dark shadows crowded in upon him across the water. But as he gazed at the shimmering surface, he realised that in fact the threatening shadows were surrounded by glistening light and patches of beautiful blue… and then he felt a wee bit better. As he watched some of the red and gold leaves drifting slowly down the river, Algy hoped that his friends would be able to drift back again to see him very soon…

Algy dedicates this post to all his friends who are parted from their own dear friends and family, and he sends you all some very special fluffy hugs xoxo

The weather had been so fine that Algy decided to take a wee trip inland to see the sights. It was always somewhat gloomier there, as the bare, rocky mountains towered high over the deep glen, but the landscape had a certain grandeur, and – like most birds – Algy enjoyed a change of scene from time to time. So he flew all through the morning, and eventually arrived at a spot which he particularly liked, beside a calm, shallow river. Perching on the slender branches of a small tree that had already lost most of its leaves, he watched the dark-and-silver water flowing slowly beneath him on its way towards the great sea loch. It was very different from the bright blue moorland burn he had just left, but it made a fascinating mirror for the woodland that grew all around it. He was reminded of a children’s poem by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Smooth it slides upon its travel,
 Here a wimple, there a gleam—
     O the clean gravel!
     O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
 Paven pools as clear as air—
     How a child wishes
     To live down there!

We can see our coloured faces
 Floating on the shaken pool
     Down in cool places,
     Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
 Dipping marten, plumping trout,
     Spreads in a twinkle
     And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
 All below grows black as night,
     Just as if mother
     Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute—
 See the spreading circles die;
     The stream and all in it
     Will clear by-and-by.

[Algy is quoting the children’s poem Looking-glass River from the collection A Child’s Garden of Verses by the 19th century Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson.]

Just a wee bit further up the burn, the water flowed quietly across the moor, trickling calmly around the red stones which lined its banks. On a fine day, it looked bluer than the sky it was reflecting, creating a beautiful contrast to the russet and beige colours of the moorland in early autumn. As the burns always cut deep channels through the peaty soil, their banks tend to be relatively sheltered and warm, so Algy tucked himself down happily on the edge of the grass near the water, to soak up some of the welcome sunshine while it lasted…

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy some sunshine this weekend xo

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.

Algy gazed out across the deep blue sea towards the Small Isles and the mountains of the Isle of Skye on the horizon. Suddenly, he caught sight of a large shape in the sky and a wee flash of white: a huge white-tailed sea eagle was soaring overhead. For a moment Algy considered taking cover – although there were very few places to hide on the open hillside – but it soon became apparent that the eagle did not consider a fluffy bird to be worthy of its attention, and in a few minutes more it had swept away on the wind, moving so rapidly out to sea that it was soon completely lost in the blue.

Although the view out across the deep blue sea was mesmerizing, Algy especially loved to watch the pattern of cloud shadows moving across the mountains of the mainland in the east. Even on a day as fine as this one, there always seemed to be a ribbon of low grey-and-white clouds hovering over those mountain tops, creating ever changing patterns as they moved lazily along.