The beautiful day was drawing to a close. Algy found a comfortable spot on some closely-cropped turf and lent back against a large clump of marram grass to catch the last of the afternoon sun. Although there weren’t any flowers in the grass just yet, and he certainly didn’t have a town to return to, the experiences of the day reminded him of the poem Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

          I will be the gladdest thing
             Under the sun!
          I will touch a hundred flowers
             And not pick one.

          I will look at cliffs and clouds
             With quiet eyes,
          Watch the wind bow down the grass,
             And the grass rise.

          And when lights begin to show
             Up from the town,
          I will mark which must be mine,
             And then start down!


Algy’s feet were getting cold in the deep shade between the rocks, so he moved across onto the next rock, and stretched himself out in the sun. The colours of the clear water over the sand were especially beautiful this afternoon, and the motion of the water was hypnotic. It wasn’t long before he dozed off for a while, with the soothing sounds of the sea as a lullaby.

Algy hopes that you will all have a peaceful and soothing weekend in the sun 🙂

If you missed Algy’s audio post yesterday, here’s another link to the wonderful sounds of the sea which Algy heard while he was sitting on the rocks.

Algy flew down from the sand dunes, onto the rocky promontory in the middle of the beach. Tucked low down by the water on the leeward side of the rocks, he was almost sheltered from the wind. It was peaceful sitting in the cool sunshine, just watching the water swirling around as the tide turned, and listening to all the soothing sounds that it made.

Listen to the wonderful sounds of the sea which Algy heard on the rocks.

When Algy moved down on to the rocks by the water, he sat quite still and listened to the fascinating sounds of the sea at low tide. It surged into the gullies between the rocks with a happy gurgle and splash, and sucked back out again with a hissing of sand, swirling the seaweed all around in the bubbling water at his feet.

{The complexities of the sound will be clearest through headphones or external speakers.}

Although he had enjoyed the view to the right and left despite the piercing wind, Algy felt that it was time to find a wee bit of shelter. So he tucked himself into a sandy hollow between the tall stems of the marram grass. From here he could look due west, straight out across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and into the dazzling path of the afternoon sun. Although it was too early in the year for crickets, the skylarks were singing overhead, and the whole scene reminded him of the opening lines of a poem by Lawrence Raab:

          After a night of wind we are surprised
          by the light, how it flutters up from the back of the sea   
          and leaves us at ease. We can walk along the shore
          this way or that, all day. Sit in the spiky grass   
          among the low whittled bushes, listening   
          to crickets, to the whisk of the small waves …

Algy found a new position on the highest of the dunes, to take in the view to his right. He wished that he had eyes in the back of his head, so that he could see the whole expanse of the bay and all the islands at once, without having to turn his face into the bitter north wind. It was certainly very lovely, but it was also very cold!

May Day dawned beautifully bright and clear after the storm, so Algy seized the day – or at least the afternoon – and went off to spend some happy hours at the beach. It was a particularly lovely day, but the biting north wind sent chills through his feathers as he perched on the top of the dunes, watching the waves ripple gently over the sand at low tide.

Algy decided that as he had spent so much time sitting on the seaweed and watching the water, he ought to write a poem about it. He got out his pencil and moleskine notebook, but he just couldn’t think of a suitable rhyme for seaweed, so he dangled his feet in the water and waited for further inspiration …

Algy discovered that sitting on the hard, cold rock became rather uncomfortable after a while, so he found himself a much softer seat, although admittedly it also seemed to be much damper and stickier. Just as in Longfellow’s poem, large masses of seaweed had recently found repose on the beach:

          When descends on the Atlantic
                 The gigantic
          Storm-wind of the equinox,
          Landward in his wrath he scourges
                 The toiling surges,
          Laden with seaweed from the rocks:

          From Bermuda’s reefs; from edges
                Of sunken ledges,
          In some far-off, bright Azore;
          From Bahama, and the dashing,
          Surges of San Salvador;

          From the tumbling surf, that buries
                The Orkneyan skerries,
          Answering the hoarse Hebrides;
          And from wrecks of ships, and drifting
                Spars, uplifting
         On the desolate, rainy seas; —

         Ever drifting, drifting, drifting
                On the shifting
         Currents of the restless main;
         Till in sheltered coves, and reaches
               Of sandy beaches,
         All have found repose again.

[Algy is quoting from Seaweed, a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]