Hurtling Scotch mist swept by at remarkable speed, the wind roared and thundered through the trees, and the ground was absolutely, utterly and completely sodden. If you were foolish enough to walk on it, water squelched out with every footfall. And despite this, the weather forecasters were predicting another 4 inches to 8 inches of rain for the West Highlands this weekend…

Algy found himself a soggy perch that was not actually waterlogged, and surveyed the dismal scene. He remembered a poem by Longfellow about just such a day. It was all very well to say that “into each life some rain must fall”, but enough was enough already! Why couldn’t it fall on the places that desperately needed water for a change? Algy idly wondered whether the sun really was still shining behind the clouds, but as he couldn’t actually see any clouds, being entirely shrouded in the dense mist, it hardly made any difference. Truly the poet said:

          The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
          It rains, and the wind is never weary;
          The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
          But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
          And the day is dark and dreary.

          My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
          It rains, and the wind is never weary;
          My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
          But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
          And the days are dark and dreary.

          Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
          Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
          Thy fate is the common fate of all,
          Into each life some rain must fall,
          Some days must be dark and dreary.

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Rainy Day by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. ]


Algy leaned back against the trunk of the tree that hung over the burn, and listened to the different sounds of water all around him. The burn itself made the most noise, but if he listened carefully he could also hear the sounds of the persistent light rain and the dripping bushes all around him. It was cold and wet, but it was pleasant to hear the many sounds of water; they reminded him of a well-known haiku by Issa:

          Winter seclusion;
          listening, that evening,
          to rain in the mountains.

[ Algy is quoting the a haiku by the late 18th/early 19th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa. ]

The weather had been exceptionally wet. On some days it rained all day without pause; on other days it paused for a moment… and then started raining again. Everything was utterly sodden, including Algy, and he didn’t like it at all.

So, as he leaned back against a cold, damp rock, watching the millionth wave of rain sweeping in from the Atlantic, Algy resolved to spend his Christmas holidays under cover this year… He wondered whether his assistant would like him to help her with the Christmas decorations…

Algy needn’t have worried about leaving his umbrella behind, because suddenly Nature provided him with the loveliest umbrella he could imagine. Algy perched on a wee rock beneath the beautiful bow, with the rain falling all around him, and remembered a simple little children’s poem he had once read:

          Boats sail on the rivers,
          And ships sail on the seas;
          But clouds that sail across the sky
          Are prettier than these.

          There are bridges on the rivers,
          As pretty as you please;
          But the bow that bridges heaven,
          And overtops the trees,
          And builds a road from earth to sky,
          Is prettier far than these.

Algy hopes you will all have a happy, peaceful Sunday xoxo

[Algy is quoting The Rainbow, a poem for children by the 19th century English poet Christina Rossetti.]

Postscript: several people have written to Algy about this very unusual rainbow, and he would like to assure anyone who is curious that it really did look exactly like this (even more impressive in reality, in fact), and the photo has not been altered in any way other than to adjust brightness, contrast and saturation levels a wee bit. Neither Algy nor his assistants had ever seen a rainbow quite like this before.

Soft spring rain was falling gently on the beach, and on the tidal pools among the seaweed and rocks. Algy was delighted to see the wee circles and ripples that appeared and vanished again as each raindrop touched the water, so he perched close to a large, shallow pool, where he could watch more closely. He was so much occupied in studying the patterns that he really didn’t notice that his feathers were getting increasingly soggy and damp… Algy just loved the rain when it fell softly, so as the drops fell onto the pool, he quietly chanted one of his favourite poems to them:

          Let the rain kiss you
          Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
          Let the rain sing you a lullaby
          The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
          The rain makes running pools in the gutter
          The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
          And I love the rain.

Algy hopes that if raindrops are falling on you too, you won’t be angry with them, but will let them kiss you :)) xoxo

[Algy is quoting the poem April Rain Song by the 20th century American poet Langston Hughes.]

The world was exceedingly wet. In many places there was water where usually there was something else. Although it meant getting his tail feathers uncomfortably damp, Algy could not resist perching in a clump of reeds at the edge of an impromptu lochan, so that he could study the lovely reflections of the sky in a place where normally there would only be soggy grass. He knew that soon the water – and the reflections – would be gone again.

As he sat there looking at the sky on the ground, Algy thought of his friends in northern America who had been shut indoors for weeks on end during an exceptionally cold winter, but were now on the verge of a spring thaw. He hopes that very soon Robert Frost’s well-known poem will be fulflled for you, and you will be able to get out and about in a world transformed by the coming of spring:

          Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
          Bring the singer, bring the nester;
          Give the buried flower a dream;
          Make the settled snowbank steam;
          Find the brown beneath the white;
          But whate’er you do tonight,
          Bathe my window, make it flow,
          Melt it as the ice will go;
          Melt the glass and leave the sticks
          Like a hermit’s crucifix;
          Burst into my narrow stall;
          Swing the picture on the wall;
          Run the rattling pages o’er;
          Scatter poems on the floor;
          Turn the poet out of door.

[Algy is quoting the poem To the Thawing Wind by Robert Frost.]

Lots of Algy’s friends and followers on Tumblr have been especially kind to him recently. This makes Algy feel very happy and warm underneath his bedgraggled feathers, despite the horrible November weather. Algy is blowing kisses to you all in the rain xxxxx

Algy sends special greetings to all his new followers, and his love and heartfelt thanks to all those loyal friends who have been following his Adventures for a while. Thank you all for your kindness, your “hearts”, your lovely notes and your messages – it truly is you who make Algy’s Adventures worthwhile 🙂

And Algy sends extra kisses and a rather soggy fluffy hug to his new friend Kara of telescopical, not only for reblogging Algy’s posts and introducing him to new friends, but above all for being the “stranger who cares”, and for all the time and energy she devotes to helping other people on Tumblr, especially young people in distress. Algy loves you for that, Kara xx

The weather had settled into its usual November pattern of wind and gloomy rain, punctuated by frequent biting showers of hail. Algy’s feathers were feeling very soggy, and his tree was growing awfully bare. He tried to look on the bright side, but no matter where he looked he came to the same conclusion – it was cold and dark and very, very wet …

Algy was feeling a wee bit under the weather – and recently there had been plenty of weather to be under. Although it was the “height” of summer, it did nothing but rain. Misty, light rain and torrential, heavy rain; vertical, calm rain and horizontal, gale-force rain; cold, drenching rain and mild, showery rain. Algy felt utterly damp. So he perched on a fence post and chanted an old rhyme which he had learned when he was a chick:

          Whether the weather be fine,
          Or whether the weather be not,
          We’ll weather the weather
          Whatever the weather,
          Whether we like it or not!

The West Highland summer had returned to normal, and everything was really very wet, including Algy. He tucked himself in tight against the trunk of his tree and let the rain beat upon his head and sing him a lullaby:

          Let the rain kiss you.
          Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops.
          Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

          The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk.
          The rain makes running pools in the gutter.
          The rain plays a little sleep-song on our roof at night—

          And I love the rain.

[Algy is quoting the poem April Rain Song by Langston Hughes.]