Algy dropped down to the woodland floor and leaned back on a soft carpet of mosses and fallen beech leaves. It was peaceful in the woods and everything seemed hushed; apart from the quiet rippling of the river, and the occasional whisper of a falling leaf, there was almost no sound. As he contemplated the trees in their autumn glory, Algy was reminded of a famous verse by Lord Byron:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal. 

[Algy is quoting a small part of the long narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by the early 19th century Anglo-Scottish poet Lord Byron.]

Algy flew into the beech woods which lined one side of the river bank, and found a rather less comfortable perch than the one he had just left…

Although he loved his wild and windy home by the ocean shore, and the constant, soothing sounds of the sea, he had to admit that it made a pleasant change to be sheltered by these stately trees, and to be able to observe the autumn colours in the peaceful woodland without being blown around…

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a peaceful weekend in a pleasant spot 🙂

Algy had found an excellent perch in a hole in an ancient oak tree, so he tucked himself in comfortably and settled down to watch the life of the river for a wee while. It was a cool, misty October afternoon and not a great deal was happening, but several ducks were swimming lazily up and down stream, first this way and then that, with no very clear intent, while the river flowed calmly on towards the sea. Suddenly, a robin started to sing his autumn song from a branch nearby; Algy looked up at his pretty little cousin, and smiled 🙂

Algy felt as though he were floating in a sea of green… He leaned back upon the soft, straggly heather bush and listened to the gentle sounds of the woodland all around him. From time to time the quiet was disturbed by the harsh call of some invisible bird in the tall trees high above, or by the splash of a leaping fish in the lochan, but for the most part everything was hushed and still in the calm of the sleepy summer afternoon…

Now that the sky had cleared, the woodland was full of quiet, dark shadows and lovely bright clearings that were buzzing with colour and life. The rosebay willowherb was starting to flower, creating a dazzling patch of magenta among all the green. Algy found himself a perch on a young willow sapling and leaned back happily, watching the bees as they hummed busily around him. He was fascinated by the way the startling magenta flowers seemed to climb patiently up each stem until they eventually reached the top, and wondered whether – if he sat there long enough – he would actually see the flowers move… But the sun was comfortably warm, and the constant hum of the bees was soporific so, before very long, Algy was fast asleep.

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a soothing rest this Sunday xo

Algy flew over to an old mossy log and perched there gazing at the woodland floor. The more closely he looked, the greater variety of plants he saw; he was especially pleased to see some pretty little violet flowers peeping out from among the grasses and ferns. (Can you see them too?) He was reminded of the wee poem by Jane Taylor:

Down in a green and shady bed,
A modest violet grew,
Its stalk was bent, it hung its head,
As if to hide from view.

And yet it was a lovely flower,
Its colours bright and fair;
It might have graced a rosy bower,
Instead of hiding there,

Yet there it was content to bloom,
In modest tints arrayed;
And there diffused its sweet perfume,
Within the silent shade.

[Algy is quoting the first three verses of the poem The Violet by the early 19th century English writer Jane Taylor.]

Below the great oak tree was Algy’s favourite woodland pool, where he had first met the robin in his adventure The Tree with a Golden Heart. A woodland burn tumbled down the hillside through the trees, and at this point it splashed into a small shaded pool beneath the great oak tree before it continued its journey down into the quiet loch. Algy loved to perch on the large mossy stone at the edge of the burn and watch the wee waterfall and the ripples that travelled across the shallow pool, which was also an excellent place for a fluffy bird to bathe…

Algy flew into the old oak wood and found himself a perch among the leaves of a massive Atlantic Oak. The trees were all dressed in their finest spring green, and the leaves rustled gently in the breeze. Before long a robin started singing from another branch nearby, and so Algy happily joined in the annual song of the ancient woodland…

Algy perched near the top of a tall spruce tree in the wee wood, and gazed at the moon as she sank down through the spiky branches. He wondered whether – if he flew fast enough – he could catch her before she fell behind the dark hill beyond the trees…

photosworthseeing:

PWS – Selfie Sunday

Dear friends, I could not let a PWS Selfie Sunday go past without participating 🙂

In these dark and stormy December days, I have been spending a lot of time in the shelter of the woods, where all is calm and peaceful. I wish you all a calm and peaceful Sunday xoxo

Thank you for your terrific selfie submission, Algy! And thank you for your wonderful words. We love it!

PAFBWS – Photo(grapher)s And Fluffy Birds Worth Seeing

Algy loves the PWS Selfie Sunday events, and he sends his fluffiest thanks to his kind friends at @photosworthseeing for allowing a fluffy bird to join in with all the “real” photographers 🙂