The mist was down again. There had been a few clear, sunny days earlier in the week, and Algy had even seen some bright blue sky at times, but such conditions rarely lasted long on the wild west coast of the Scottish Highlands, for the north Atlantic weather systems ensured an almost constant supply of clouds and rain.

Algy found himself a damp perch on a clump of soggy grasses and heather, and gazed into a spontaneous bog pool which was strewn with last year’s grasses, tossed about by the wind. Despite the cold, grey wetness of it all, Algy could detect a change in the air. The rain and the mist and the wind might not stop, but Algy knew that the winter was almost over, and any day now the skylarks would start to sing again, announcing the beginning of a new spring. So Algy peered into the water, wondering whether any frogs were sleeping down below, and murmured one of his favourite silly poems in case they might be listening:

The moon came late to a lonesome bog,
And there sat Goggleky Gluck, the frog.
“My stars!” she cried, and veiled her face,
“What very grand people they have in this place!”

Algy wishes you all a very happy weekend 🙂

[Algy is reciting the short poem The moon came late by the 19th century American writer Mary Mapes Dodge.]

The gorse was altogether too prickly for his tail feathers, so Algy hopped down to a more comfortable perch on a clump of heather which overhung the burn, and gazed at all the water rushing away to the sea. The local landscape almost always had a plentiful supply of fresh water, as there were only a few days in the year in which it did not fall out of the sky. But it was a different matter for many of the local human residents, whose water supply systems were dependent upon very basic collection facilities which routinely became blocked by storm-swept vegetation, some unfortunate frog, or even, on one occasion, an eel… In fact, it was very often the case that the more water that fell – whether as rain, sleet, or snow – the more likely it was that the humans’ homes would be without a water supply!

Have a happy weekend, everyone, with a plentiful supply of fresh water 🙂

Algy flew around the ridge and down to the burn, which drained the water from the steep, rocky slopes and the peat bogs safely into the sea. Despite the mass of prickles beneath his tail feathers, Algy perched in a large gorse bush and settled down to watch the burn playing in its pebbly bed and the light playing on the gold and russet grasses. There were many periods of bright golden sunlight, but from time to time the sky turned entirely black, and almost immediately the heavens opened, drenching the ground – and Algy – with yet another shower of icy sleet.

imiging:

– Cotton grass is one of the more delightful features of the West Highland peat bogs, and Algy is fascinated by it every summer. He loves to sit among the fluffy seedheads and watch them blowing in the wind 🙂                                               Algy made this GIF today especially to celebrate imiging‘s exciting new monthly GIF feature. Algy loves photo-GIFs!

Photograph and Gif of The Adventures of Algy are made by Jenny Chapman

adventuresofalgy.tumblr.com

Algy’s Books / Facebook / Other blog : LovefromAlgy

Club imiging Member

This so charming GIF was especially made by our VIP imiging Club Member for the amazing imigif day n°11 curated by imigingSubmit your own creation to join the party next month. Let’s Gif today!

It’s cotton grass time again, and Algy loves to relax in one of the drier spots in the peat bogs, surrounded by the fragrance of the aromatic bog myrtle, just watching the fluffy seed heads blowing in the wind 🙂

Algy sends a big fluffy hug and his fluffiest thanks to his kind friends @imiging for featuring this GIF in their amazing imigif day earlier this month. He hopes that many more of his friends will join in the fun and create original GIFs from their photographs for the next imigif day on 1st July.

Something peculiar had happened to the West Highlands… it looked as though somebody had been playing with their paintbox! After 24 hours of rain, the sun came out for a short while, and the landscape was immediately transformed.

Although it was blowing a gale, Algy hurried down to the burn, to watch the water surging through the low, twiggy branches of the bushes that trailed over it. The burn gurgled and foamed as it rushed along past him with enormous energy, evidently eager to return to the sea. Algy marvelled at the amazing capacity of the peat bogs to drain all the water away, and he lay back happily on last year’s bracken, listening to the burn and soaking up the rare winter sunshine while it lasted…

Cotton grass is one of the more delightful features of the West Highland peat bogs, and Algy is fascinated by it every summer. He loves to sit among the fluffy seedheads and watch them blowing in the wind 🙂

Algy made this GIF today especially to celebrate imiging‘s exciting new monthly GIF feature. Algy loves photo-GIFs!

The headland at the end of the bay is a strange and wondrous place. The sea surrounds it on three sides at least, and is always close at hand, but only sometimes seen. Between the rugged edges of this curious promontory lies a mysterious hinterland of treacherous bogs and pools, interspersed with steep rocky outcrops and mounds covered in rough grasses and heather. Although the area is not large, it is surprisingly easy for a fluffy bird to lose his sense of direction there… But on a fine, sunny day it has a special charm all of its own 🙂

In the wild West Highlands of Scotland, when the Scotch mist really settles in, it hangs around for days… and days… and days…  And in conditions like these it can be difficult to tell where you are, or what day it is, or anything at all. But Algy didn’t mind, really. He perched on a ragged clump of soggy heather, and listened to the tiny, wet sounds of the peat bogs in the mist. He was fascinated by the way that every stem of dry grass held a few transparent beads of water; there were little droplets everywhere, as far as the eye could see. As he became gradually damper and damper, he thought of a poem he had only just discovered:

          When you can see the ground’s breath,
          And the sky goes muggy
          And drops before the world
          Like a perspiring window-glass;
          When beasts and humans creep to cover
          And the steam-boats speak fog-language;
          The farm buildings sit still
          Folding their hands
          As if they hadn’t a thing in the world to do.
          A chimney’s belch smudges into nothing;
          The earth’s breath noses around the roots of trees;
          Heaven-mist seeps through branches
          And wraps the country’s heart.

Algy has been so happy to find some of his kind Tumblr friends on Facebook – a strange new territory that is still unfamiliar to him. If you are on Facebook too, please come and say hello to Algy on his Facebook page. He will try to post to Facebook regularly too, and will interact with his friends there. (Algy’s Facebook posts will not duplicate his Adventures except in special circumstances.)

[ Algy is quoting the poem In Mist by Laura Sherry, who was director of the Wisconsin Players in the 1920s. The poem was published in the magazine Poetry in September 1922. ]

Algy on Facebook

After a few days of bright but chilly sunshine, the sky clouded over and became exceedingly grey. The air felt icy, and it looked as though it might snow again at any moment. Algy and his new friend, little black Teddy, were sitting at the edge of the peat bog, surveying the desolate scene. Teddy was wondering whether he might not be better off back in Germany with his kind friend snirg-fundstuecke, but Algy explained that the West Highlands were not always this bleak; in due course, all the browns and blacks and greys would turn to greens, and by June the whole peat bog would be covered with the pretty, fluffy seedheads of the cotton grass, blowing gently in the breeze…

Snow rarely lasts very long at low altidudes in the coastal areas of the West Highlands, and by Monday morning most of it had vanished. But the weather had turned colder, and when Algy passed by the peat bogs he was fascinated to discover that something strange had happened to the normally dangerous pools. He wondered whether he could get some ice skates to fit his fluffy feet…