This is the time of year when Algy is able to watch beautiful Hebridean sunsets over the sea and islands from his own tree, and he recites to himself:

          This is the land the sunset washes,
          These are the banks of the Yellow Sea;
          Where it rose, or whither it rushes,
          These are the western mystery!

          Night after night her purple traffic
          Strews the landing with opal bales;
          Merchantmen poise upon horizons,
          Dip, and vanish with fairy sails.

[Algy is reciting Emily Dickinson’s poem This is the land the sunset washes.]

From the middle of May until July each year, on nights when the weather is fine, the sky glows late into the evening, far out to sea in the north-west. Then the red deer come to browse furtively on the crofts in the gloaming, and Algy sits in his tree in the strange light, and talks to them.

This year another bird is talking to them too, and his rasping call carries all across the land in the still of the evening …

Listen to the sound that Algy heard as he was conversing with the deer.

Algy Rides a Dragon as Swift as the Wind


Algy doesn’t like St. George’s Day, or beastliness to dragons on any occasion. Dragons are Algy’s friends, for without them, who would breathe fire into the sunset?

He remembered the Chinese nursery rhyme, and went for a very special ride:

          As the sun came up, a ball of red.
          I followed my friend wherever he led.
          He thought his fast horse would leave me behind
          But I rode a dragon as swift as the wind!

[Algy gratefully acknowledges the source of the image of this particular dragon, in a photo by wisefly on flickr, adapted under a Creative Commons licence.]