The gale had raged for a day and a night, and then calmed down to the normal steady wind that very rarely ceased. Algy looked up at the grey, grey sky, and out across the ocean, towards the horizon. He could see that it was about to be exceedingly wet again; indeed, it looked as though it would probably rain for the rest of the day. Flying up the brae from the beach, Algy paused by a tiny, trickling waterfall. By tomorrow the water would be hurtling down the hillside, dancing and frothing with white foam as it tumbled down to the sea, but at the moment it was trickling as peacefully as could be, as though it did not have a care in the world. It made a gentle, soothing sound as it found its way through the rocks, and Algy was happy to perch on a damp clump of heather, just listening to it while he waited for the rain to start.

Listen to the sound of the tiny trickling waterfall which Algy heard.


The other necessity which Algy had to find was a supply of fresh water – but that is rarely a problem in the West Highlands, no matter which side of the rainbow you might happen to be on :-))

So Algy set off to explore the wooded hillside a wee bit further, and very soon he heard the sound that he was listening for – the distinctive gurgling and tumbling of a woodland burn cascading down the steep hillside…

From the other side of the rainbow, Algy wishes you all a very happy, rainbow-coloured weekend xoxo

On the next morning, Algy intended to cross the great sea loch and continue his journey home, but as he was flying towards its shores he noticed a beautiful area of woodland which he hadn’t visited before, so he decided to investigate it while he had the chance. The woods contained an attractive mixture of deciduous trees and conifers, with many mosses and ferns beneath. A lively burn was tumbling down the hillside towards the loch, so Algy paused for a while to watch it twinkling over its rocky bed in the dappled light filtering through the summer canopy.

As he flew home from the oak woods, Algy paused by the wayside to inspect his own wee waterfall. This miniature water feature only appears when there has been plenty of rain; in dry weather it vanishes entirely, so that a casual passer-by could never guess that it existed. Algy loves to tuck himself in to a sheltered hollow among the grasses and ferns that grow beside a tiny cave which the water has carved out of the rocky hillside over the years. Just as in many grander and more famous water features, the water falls down vertically across the mouth of this cave, like a fascinating, ever-changing curtain which partly obscures the mysteries within.

Algy made himself comfortable, and sat there peacefully for some time. While he gazed at the flickering waterfall and listened to the gentle, trickling sounds that it made, Algy thought how lucky he was to be living in a place where there was a never-ending supply of clean, fresh water – and where it took so many beautiful forms! He thought of all his friends in drier parts of the world, and hoped that the rain would continue to fall wherever it was needed.

Listen to the sound of Algy’s waterfall. Algy hopes that for those of you who need it, the sound will help to encourage the rain :))

It was almost spring now. As Algy watched the water tumbling gently down in front of the tiny cave, he was reminded of a haiku by the Japanese master Isha:

          Early spring –
          stream flows
          toward my door

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

Algy’s miniature waterfall makes a constant, gentle trickling sound as it falls down vertically like a delicate curtain in front of the tiny cave, and runs onward down the hillside, through the ferns and grasses.

Although Algy is very fond of sea shells, counting them proved to be harder than he had expected, so he decided to go and look for tiddlers instead. He knew that the tiny fish loved to dart in and out of the shadows of the quiet burn that trickles slowly from the peat bogs through the sand dunes to the sea. So Algy found a sheltered spot by one of the many calm pools in the burn, and settled down to watch. It was very peaceful, but – as he quickly discovered – it was also distinctly soggy beneath the tail feathers if you sat there for any length of time…

Although the river was beautiful, it lacked the soft intimacy of the wee burn which joined it. Algy was fascinated by the clear, shallow water sparkling over its dark bed of stones and peat, and by all the green ferns and mosses which thrived in the damp environment. There were so many tiny details to study; every part of the burn and its banks seemed alive and busy.

Listen to the sounds of the burn, with the river in the background, just as Algy heard them …

This is the sound of the wee burn which Algy watched as it trickled over its peaty bed through the mosses and ferns to join the river behind him.

Algy had been wandering for some time in the woods and had lost his sense of direction. But eventually he found his way to a sunlit spot, where a wee trickling burn wound its way into a faster flowing river. It was very pretty there, and the sounds of the water were soothing, so he sat on the mossy bank, to rest and watch the bright water making its way towards the sea. Algy knew that if he followed the river he would soon be able to find his way home again.

(Algy apologises to those of his friends who may have missed him while he was absent. He is very sorry to have deserted you, but he lost his way for a while.)