Algy flew out onto the rocks, and found a perch that was reasonably sheltered from the cold north wind. The tide was high, and most of the beach was covered. As he looked back towards the shore he marvelled at the beautiful colours of the sea: shimmering turquoise over the pale sand, and a mixture of deep blues and purples over the swirling beds of seaweed. On a day like this it was hard to believe that this was north-west Scotland and not some more exotic location, but the icy wind ruffling his hair feathers soon reminded him where he really was ūüôā


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 Sits Rapt On Shore


Algy flew out of the forest and onwards to one of the loveliest parts of the peninsula. There he spent a happy few hours exploring the woods and shore in the golden afternoon sun. Reclining on the dry heather, he watched the tide running up into the sea loch, and thought:

         when all the golden birds
         fly home across the blue deep water;
         On shore I sit rapt in its scattering

         departure rustles through the trees.
         This farewell is vast and separation draws close,
         but reunion, that also is certain.

[From the poem Now it is fall by the early 20th century Finnish poet Edith Södergran, translated from the Swedish by Averill Curdy.]