It was a fine, bright February day, and Algy felt in need of a change of scene, so he set off for the ancient oak woods by the loch. The trees made beautiful shapes against the sky without their leaves, and beneath them a most fascinating tangle of rocks and vegetation was exposed throughout the winter. The red-brown stalks of last year’s bracken and the deep bed of fallen leaves provided shelter for all kinds of wee creatures and plants, and made a lovely contrast for the bright green mosses and ferns which had obviously been thriving in the very wet weather. And on the tree trunks and rocks there were all kinds of lichens growing as well. In the woodland around him, Algy could hear some of the smaller birds starting to practise their songs for the spring. It was certainly a lovely day for singing, so Algy decided to join in…

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