When Algy had recovered from the unfortunate effects of a surfeit of underripe blackberries, he decided to explore the woodlands. The sun was much lower in the sky now that the season was rapidly advancing towards winter, but it still had a wee bit of warmth in it. Flying up to a spot near the top of a hill, he found a sunny perch on a broken limb of a battered old silver birch tree, and rested there for a while in the afternoon sunshine, until the cold shadow began to creep up his legs as the sun sank down behind the trees of the woodland behind him.

Algy hopes that you will all find a warm spot to rest in this weekend, and will have a relaxing time xoxo

Where the woods were more mixed there were fewer leaves left on the trees, as most of the silver birches were almost bare now. The sun streamed through the maze of branches, lighting up the shy mosses and ferns on the woodland floor. Algy discovered a lovely soft bed at the foot of a hollow tree trunk, and dozed happily in the gentle autumn sun for a while.

Algy decided that he needed a better vantage point from which to admire the view, so he was delighted to find a fallen silver birch – a casualty of last winter’s storms. It provided an excellent perch, and the autumn sunshine warmed the feathers on his back, but from the colours of the sky he knew that the beautiful golden light could not last very long.

On either side of the pass the mountain sides rose up quite steeply, until they vanished into the low clouds which drifted constantly along the ridges. Everything was dripping and soggy from the mist, so Algy perched rather awkwardly in a young birch tree, to avoid soaking his feathers on the wet ground. It wasn’t exactly raining, but then, on the other hand, it wasn’t exactly not raining … “And that’s the West Highland summer for you,” Algy grumbled to himself.

Algy thought of all his friends far away, and particularly of his special Tumblr friend Ted in the USA, who celebrated his 40th birthday a few days ago, and who seems to love the Scottish Highland landscape. Algy sends you a big fluffy hug and late congratulations on your 40th birthday, Ted – and a thousand thanks for all your support and encouragement, and your reblogging of his adventures on the excellent LuxLit 🙂 May you have many, many more happy years ahead, and make many more wonderful images :))

Algy had forgotten quite how windy it was in his own wee corner of the West Highlands, but at least it saved the expense of going to a fun fair… He enjoyed riding among the dangling catkins on such a sunny afternoon, but he found that he got sprayed with pollen as the branches shook, which made him sneeze.

The birch trees in Algy’s garden do not grow tall and straight like Jürgen’s birches but are stunted and bent. Algy doesn’t mind, though – he loves their strange shapes and twisted boughs, and finds that they make good perches for reading poetry. Today, however, he had to brace his back very firmly against the branches to avoid being twisted by the biting wind himself. Spring was certainly behaving in a strange way this year; it reminded him of the poem by e. e. cummings:

          Spring is like a perhaps hand
          ( which comes carefully
          out of Nowhere )arranging
          a window ,into which people look( while
          people stare
          arranging and changing placing
          carefully there a strange
          thing and a known thing here )and

          changing everything carefully

          spring is like a perhaps
          Hand in a window
          ( carefully to
          and fro moving New and
          Old things,while
          people stare carefully
          moving a perhaps
          fraction of flower here placing
          an inch of air there )and

          without breaking anything.

[Algy is quoting a poem by e. e. cummings, from his book selected poems 1923 – 1958, published by Faber and Faber in 1960.]

Fall, Leaves, Fall on Algy

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The weather was changing rapidly, and it looked as though it would be Algy’s last chance to enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves on the trees. Despite the frequent icy showers of rain and hail, the sky cleared at times. Algy waited all day for a good break in the cloud, and was eventually rewarded with some late afternoon sunshine. So he perched on a low branch of his favourite silver birch tree and watched the golden leaves drift down gently all around him to the ground.

         Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
         Lengthen night and shorten day;
         Every leaf speaks bliss to me
         Fluttering from the autumn tree.

[From the poem Fall, leaves, fall by Emily Brontë.]

Note: the animation may be jerky while it loads, but will then play properly.
Algy hopes that perfectionists will overlook the compression artefacts and lack of colour depth – Tumblr imposes heavy restraints on animated GIFs.