By Wednesday morning the snow on the ground by Algy’s home had melted… but then the clouds grew heavier and heavier as the morning progressed, and soon a combination of wet snow and icy sleet began to fall, providing Algy with an ideal opportunity to test his friends’ theories about the best hairstyle for such conditions.

He discovered that his own hairstyle seemed to be fine for as long as the icy drops were content to remain on his hair, but once they melted and trickled down his face and soaked all his feathers, it was not quite so satisfactory…

Algy thinks that perhaps he should persuade his assistant to knit him a hat…

Algy thanks you all very much for your interesting, kind and helpful replies to his recent posts, including your fascinating reports about the weather in your part of the world 🙂

Keep warm, everybody xoxo

If you live in a remote area in the bleak mid-winter, it’s always comforting to have a chat with others who are facing the same challenges. So, when Algy passed some local residents on his way back from the Post Office, he paused to discuss various issues which they shared in common, such as how best to maintain full fluffiness in the sleet and snow, and the most appropriate hairstyles for freezing temperatures…

Algy found a perch in a bare willow tree, and looked out through the veil of lightly falling snow towards the craggy ridge. His little world seemed strangely transformed, and Algy thought of a haiku by Issa:

          Just by being,
          I’m here –
          in the snow-fall.

This post is especially dedicated to Algy’s sweet friend tinktastichana, who is about to end her annual visit to her home in Japan to return to her home in New York. Algy sends Hana and all his friends lots of snowy fluffy hugs xoxo

[ Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa. ]

When Algy woke up on Saturday morning, he saw a scene from a storybook. The wind had dropped completely – a most unusual phenomenon in the West Highlands – and large flakes of velvety snow were falling gently and silently from the misty white sky. Despite the wintry conditions it felt much warmer without any wind, so Algy found a comfortable perch and watched happily as the snow covered him and all the world in a soft white coat.

This post is especially dedicated to Algy’s friend the abominable snow photographer tiernanogphoto :)))

Have a happy and cosy weekend everyone xoxoxo

There had been a wee change in the weather overnight… When the last of the great series of westerly gales had finished blowing in from the Atlantic, the wind swung round to the north, bringing a different kind of phenomenon. It was cold, but at least it was sort of drier, and it was now possible to perch safely in one place without the risk of being blasted into another. So Algy wrapped himself up in a tartan shawl and settled down to catch up with his reading. It was tricky trying to turn the pages with half-frozen feathers, but fortunately the wind was willing to help…

This “no edit Friday” image (related to the sequence which will follow later) is dedicated to Algy’s good friends at PWS photosworthseeing. Algy had just learned that PWS were starting a new blog for fine art nudes, and that from now on all photographs of unclothed persons would be displayed on the new blog, and not on the main PWS blog.

Algy was very anxious to be proper, and to avoid giving offence. So – just in case PWS decided to reblog his image – he carefully wrapped himself in a shawl for this photo, and hoped that they would excuse the bare legs…

Of course, Algy had to admit that the shawl did also come in very handy for keeping out the cold, and he wondered whether that was why humans were so often seen with clothes on :)))

Algy sends lots of very proper fluffy hugs to all his friends at photosworthseeing PWS xoxoxo

The West Highlands was experiencing a wee bit of inclement weather… but nevertheless, Algy decided that he would like to watch the waves rolling in up the Sound and crashing against the rocks, so he flew down to the shore and positioned himself in what he thought was a relatively sheltered spot. In the event, however, he found that it was not quite as sheltered as he had hoped, and the hail and snow showers swept in at great speed and with very little warning…

Algy thanks you all very much for your good wishes and kind comments during this stormy period, and would like to assure you that fluffy birds may occasionally get cold and drenched (!), but they can never come to any real harm :))

Stay safe and have a cosy, warm weekend, everyone xoxoxoxo

It was a surprisingly fine September day for the West Highlands, and although a strange white mist hung rather ominously over the ridges in the distance, it felt comfortably warm in the hazy sunshine. Algy decided to spend the afternoon just wandering around the local landscape, admiring the colours of the moorland in all its autumn glory, and sticking his beak into patches of heather to make sure that they smelled of honey. As he inhaled the comforting scent of the tiny flowers in one particular clump, he remembered a much less pleasant afternoon he had spent in that very same spot, on the first day of February this year – and he began to wonder what the coming winter would bring…

Algy discovered that being cold and wet all day is exceedingly tiring, so as soon as the sleety snow had stopped falling he made himself a comfortable nest among the dead bracken stalks and immediately dropped off to sleep. And as he dozed fitfully among the chilly patches of bright, white snow on the open hillside, he dreamed that he was sitting in a beautiful cherry tree, alive with the dancing white petals of spring…

The wind was driving the wet, sleety snow into his feathers with some force, so Algy quickly decided to move to a less exposed and better-drained spot, away from the open moor. He found a good, solid clump of heather on a bank of mossy grass, and tucked himself down on the lee side, with his back pressed tightly against the bush. Just a wee bit of shelter makes all the difference in such conditions, so Algy felt almost comfortable, once he had settled down out of the wind. As he watched the snow whizzing past, he was reminded of a lovely snow poem by Mary Oliver:

          In winter
              all the singing is in
                   the tops of the trees
                       where the wind-bird

          with its white eyes
              shoves and pushes
                   among the branches.
                       Like any of us

          he wants to go to sleep,
              but he’s restless—
                   he has an idea,
                       and slowly it unfolds

          from under his beating wings
              as long as he stays awake.
                   But his big, round music, after all,
                       is too breathy to last.

          So, it’s over.
              In the pine-crown
                   he makes his nest,
                       he’s done all he can.

          I don’t know the name of this bird,
              I only imagine his glittering beak
                   tucked in a white wing
                       while the clouds—

          which he has summoned
              from the north—
                   which he has taught
                       to be mild, and silent—

          thicken, and begin to fall
              into the world below
                   like stars, or the feathers
                        of some unimaginable bird

          that loves us,
              that is asleep now, and silent—
                   that has turned itself
                       into snow.

[Algy is quoting the poem White-Eyes by the contemporary American poet Mary Oliver.