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…

The weather was fine, the days were lengthening rapidly, and many summer visitors had arrived from other countries; they were dashing about all over the West Highlands, and Algy began to get itchy feathers watching them come and go about the place. So one fine morning he took off in search of new adventures, and it wasn’t long before he found himself on top of a wee hill some distance from home, looking out at the quiet loch and the hills beyond, over the tops of the trees with their beautiful bright new leaves…

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…

Owing to an unusually fine, dry spell of weather in the West Highlands, the cherry blossom lasted much longer than it had in previous years, and it put on a splendid display. Algy was fascinated to discover that the flowers, which had started pure white, began to turn pink as the the days passed and the petals did not fall. He perched happily in the midst of the blossom, and under a sky almost as blue as that of California he sang a special fluffy version of “Happy Birthday” for his friend @qbn-scholar, who lives in that faraway land 🙂

Dear Fern, Algy hopes that you will have a wonderful birthday, and he sends you lots of beautiful cherry blossom and fluffy birthday hugs xoxo

Tucked into the heart of a cherry tree, Algy gazed at the beautiful white blossoms as he listened to the birds singing all around him. He was reminded of a haiku by Issa:

peace to the world
from time immemorial…
cherry blossoms

.天下泰平とうに咲桜哉
tenka taihei tô ni saku sakura kana

Algy hopes you will all have a very happy and peaceful weekend 🙂

[Algy is quoting a haiku by the 18th century Japanese master Kobayashi Issa, in a translation by David G. Lanoue.]

The air was still very chilly, but the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the wind had dropped for a while at least. Algy could feel that it was growing gradually warmer, and although the hillsides still looked dead and brown, his assistants’ garden had burst into flower, and new leaves were emerging on some of the trees and bushes.

Algy flew into the heart of a cherry tree and buried his beak happily in the blossom, listening to the voices of all the new birds who had just arrived from much warmer countries to spend the summer months on the west coast of Scotland. For two weeks now Algy had been worrying about the cuckoos, who should have been calling all around him since the third week in April, but who had been sadly absent. Then suddenly he heard that familiar sound, somewhere away in the hills: cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo… Algy smiled a big fluffy smile: it was truly spring at last 🙂