The Mist


As the glorious West Highland summer continued, Algy reclined on the dripping leaves of a garden hedge, wondering how long it would take for the tiny droplets of dense mist to soak right through his feathers. There was no point looking out to sea, as the sea had not been visible for quite some time. And there was no point watching the sky, as the sky had long since vanished. So Algy struck up a conversation with a song thrush who, despite the weather, had been yodelling vigorously in a tree nearby. The thrush was not a particularly well-read bird, so for his benefit Algy recited an appropriate poem, in the hope that the thrush would add it to his repertoire:

I am the mist, the impalpable mist,
Back of the thing you seek.
My arms are long,
Long as the reach of time and space.

Some toil and toil, believing,
Looking now and again on my face,
Catching a vital, olden glory.

But no one passes me,
I tangle and snare them all.
I am the cause of the Sphinx,
The voiceless, baffled, patient Sphinx.

I was at the first of things,
I will be at the last.
I am the primal mist
And no man passes me;
My long impalpable arms
Bar them all.

[Algy is reciting the poem The Mist by the 20th century American poet Carl Sandburg.]


And the mist came down again…


It was the 1st July, and the West Highland summer continued in all its glory… There had scarcely been a single fine day since the middle of May, and as the temperature soared to a high of 14 degrees celsius (before wind chill), Algy clung on desperately to a tangle of honeysuckle in the driving Scotch mist, and wondered whether this “summer” would ever come to an end…

Algy sends you all lots of very damp fluffy hugs, and if you are one of his friends who suffer from excess heat in the summer months, he sends you an abundance of very cool, damp air xoxo


Dear friends at PWS, thank you so much for hosting another of your wonderful Selfie Sunday events to brighten all our lives. As always, I send you all lots of fluffy hugs xoxo

I hope you are enjoying better weather this summer than we are, here on the west coast of Scotland… Here you see me on a “good” August day, trying to benefit from a rare burst of sunshine while avoiding the worst effects of the wind…

Submission Selfie Sunday

Thank you for taking part in another of our Selfie Sunday events and brighten our lives, Algy!

PAFBWS – Photo(grapher)s And Fluffy Birds Worth Seeing

Thank YOU, dear friends @photosworthseeing for all the hard work you do xx

For three days and three nights it had done nothing but rain… The sky had been washed away, the sea had vanished into the dense Scotch mist, the land had turned into a grey and green saturated sponge, and the hills were slipping down in sheets of horrible, slithery mud and stones, onto the lower ground.

Of course it had rained on most days of the year so far, but not usually with quite so much dogged determination – and this was supposed to be the height of summer, after all… Algy knew that there was no point looking for somewhere dry to perch, as there was not a dry spot left in the world, so far as he could see. So he plonked himself down disconsolately on the sodden grass, and watched as the puddles grew bigger and bigger and bigger…


The summer was drawing to a close, and there was a different sort of feeling in the air. Algy had heard that many people visited fun fairs at this time of year, for a final fling before the holidays ended and they had to return to work or school. It was almost impossible to find a fun fair in the West Highlands, but fortunately Nature stepped in where humans had failed to provide. So Algy had to fly no futher than the nearest birch tree to enjoy a ride as exciting as any in the fairground, although he was sorry that there were no toffee apples to eat afterwards…

Have a fun weekend, everyone, and if your holidays are coming to an end, enjoy those last few days! xoxo

This time it was the beginning of summer, not the end – but the ride was the same! Algy’s birch tree could not keep still for a moment today…

Algy hopes that all his friends in the northern hemisphere will enjoy the summer ahead… if they can find it!

The wind on the west side of the lighthouse was bitterly cold, and Algy quickly sought shelter under an overhang of the massive rocks. He was happy to discover a patch of bright yellow lichen to blend in with his hair, but he had a wee bit of bother trying to find camouflage for his fluffy white feathers 🙂

The wind was a wee bit brisk and chilly for July, to put it mildly, and Algy had some difficulty maintaining his poise on the lighthouse rocks, at least on the windward side. But whichever way he looked he could see the ocean stretching out into the distance, with islands dotted here and there on the horizon all around, and that – combined with the perpetual sound of the sea – made him happy, even though his feathers were starting to shiver…

Although the West Highlands is known for being wet and windy, this year had been the most dismal that Algy had ever known, so when the sun made a rare appearance he felt a huge sense of relief. It was still remarkably cold for July, but it took more than that to spoil a sunny day. Algy perched on a rock in the sand, with the icy north wind whistling through his feathers, and watched the little waves playing gently on the beach. He could tell that the sea knew it was summer, even if it still felt like winter to him, and the waves made a lovely, soothing sound as they washed around his rock. He was reminded of a poem by Eva Gore-Booth:

The grand road from the mountain goes shining to the sea,
And there is traffic in it and many a horse and cart,
But the little roads of Cloonagh are dearer far to me,
And the little roads of Cloonagh go rambling through my heart.

A great storm from the ocean goes shouting o’er the hill,
And there is glory in it and terror on the wind,
But the haunted air of twilight is very strange and still,
And the little winds of twilight are dearer to my mind.

The great waves of the Atlantic sweep storming on their way,
Shining green and silver with the hidden herring shoal,
But the Little Waves of Breffny have drenched my heart in spray,
And the Little Waves of Breffny go stumbling through my soul.

Listen to the sound of the little waves, just as Algy heard them from his rock.

[Algy is quoting the poem The Little Waves of Breffny by the late 19th/early 20th century Irish poet Eva Gore-Booth.]

In the best tradition of British garden parties, Algy arranged for
the erection of a marquee to accommodate the guests at his Surprisingly Fluffy Book Launch Party, not only for their
comfort while partaking of the refreshments, but also because – in the
great British tradition – it looked as though it was about to rain

And Algy was right. What is true for Britain in general
is even more true for the West Highlands this summer, where scarcely a
day passes without rain. But when the rain did resume it went largely unnoticed, as Algy’s guests were happy inside their marquee, drinking ginger beer and tonic water while they eagerly turned the pages of their copies of Algy’s book 🙂