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A pretty burn ran across the peaty moorland, close by the forest, and in places it had carved deep channels through the underlying rock, creating a series of miniature cliffs around enticing pools. It was far too cold to consider entering the water: despite the sunshine, there were still thin sheets of white ice in the shadier spots near the edges of the stream. But Algy found that it was very pleasant to recline on a flat rock in the sun, and watch the thousands of diamonds sparkling on the surface of the water as it tumbled over the pebbles and rough stone on its way down the hillside towards the sea.

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Algy flew up to the edge of the forest and perched on the chilly ground in the sunshine. It was a beautifully bright day, but the air was cold and the mountain top was decorated with a light coating of snow. Every pocket in the boggy ground was covered with its own thin sheet of ice, which crackled from time to time, and in the shadows the frost still lay thick and crisp and white. But the air was calm and the sun still provided a slight hint of warmth, so Algy rested for a while, absorbing the winter sunshine while he could.

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a warm and restful weekend 🙂

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It had been the coldest November night in Scotland for several years, and when Algy woke up in the morning he found that the world had been provided with a beautiful coverlet of white hoar frost. In areas of long grass it had created undulating waves in a frozen green sea, and Algy was able to ride on the top as though he were sailing across an icy ocean, as the frost held everything firmly in its place.

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Algy could see from the rapidly darkening sky that another shower of heavy sleet was approaching, so he tucked himself into a large hollow beneath the battered old gorse bushes, made a cosy bed of dry bracken to rest on, and settled down to wait for the skies to clear again.

Algy hopes that you will all find a cosy place of shelter this weekend too, especially if your own skies are looking black…

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The gorse was altogether too prickly for his tail feathers, so Algy hopped down to a more comfortable perch on a clump of heather which overhung the burn, and gazed at all the water rushing away to the sea. The local landscape almost always had a plentiful supply of fresh water, as there were only a few days in the year in which it did not fall out of the sky. But it was a different matter for many of the local human residents, whose water supply systems were dependent upon very basic collection facilities which routinely became blocked by storm-swept vegetation, some unfortunate frog, or even, on one occasion, an eel… In fact, it was very often the case that the more water that fell – whether as rain, sleet, or snow – the more likely it was that the humans’ homes would be without a water supply!

Have a happy weekend, everyone, with a plentiful supply of fresh water 🙂

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Algy flew around the ridge and down to the burn, which drained the water from the steep, rocky slopes and the peat bogs safely into the sea. Despite the mass of prickles beneath his tail feathers, Algy perched in a large gorse bush and settled down to watch the burn playing in its pebbly bed and the light playing on the gold and russet grasses. There were many periods of bright golden sunlight, but from time to time the sky turned entirely black, and almost immediately the heavens opened, drenching the ground – and Algy – with yet another shower of icy sleet.

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It was mid-November and a gale was blowing up, bringing suddenly blackened skies carrying torrential showers of slushy sleet, or sometimes rain mixed with icy hail. But when Algy stopped to look carefully at the heather bushes growing in the shelter of the rocks on the hill, he was thrilled to see some tiny purple bells still flowering there. Winter was approaching rapidly, but it was not quite here yet 🙂