A Light Exists in Spring…


Algy relaxed in the safety of the wee corner he had found, and basked in the unaccustomed warmth of the early spring sunlight. The wind was still icy, but in a sheltered spot it felt comfortably pleasant – as is so often the case in the wild west Highlands of Scotland when the sun deigns to shine…

It was the vernal equinox, and as Algy gazed at the bright colours glowing all around him, he rejoiced at the start of the light half of the year – and remembered some lines from a poem he had read, although he felt that its reference to human nature was a wee bit restrictive…

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That silence cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.

Algy wishes all his friends in the northern hemisphere a very Happy Spring!

[Algy is quoting the first two stanzas of a A Light Exists in Spring by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]


Algy was feeling very excited, because the next day was his birthday, and he was going to host a big Tumblr party for all his friends 🙂

[To join in the fun, just send Algy a link to a post you would like to share with him on his birthday, or use the lovefromalgy submission form. If you are submitting an image, be sure to select Photo from the pop-down menu at top left of the submission form, which defaults to Text. Algy’s party will run all day and into the night on 13th March, on his sideblog @lovefromalgy.]

In the meantime, Algy had to wait patiently for the big day to arrive… Luckily, it was a beautiful morning, and once the frost had melted it felt almost warm in the early spring sunshine. All the crocuses opened their faces with enormous smiles to greet the sun, and even the daffodils were beginning to think timidly about showing their petals. So Algy settled himself down among the flowers and opened his battered old copy of Longfellow’s poems. Turning to page 10, he read:

When the warm sun, that brings
Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,
’Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
The first flower of the plain.

I love the season well,
When forest glades are teeming with bright forms,
Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell
The coming-on of storms.

From the earth’s loosened mould
The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives;
Though stricken to the heart with winter’s cold,
The drooping tree revives.

The softly-warbled song
Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings
Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along
The forest openings.

Don’t miss Algy’s party on @lovefromalgy tomorrow!

[Algy is reading the opening stanzas of the poem An April Day by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

Pied Beauty


Algy flew over to a soft, mossy bank beneath a spreading holly tree, which, with the exception of the vigorous ivy that smothered some of the older tree trunks, provided the only truly bright green in the woodland at this time of year. He lay back comfortably on a bed of last year’s fallen leaves, dreaming idly of the exciting new adventures that lay ahead while he gazed at the beautiful, dappled pattern of shadows which the holly leaves cast in the bright spring sunlight. It reminded him of one of his favourite poems:

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Algy wishes you all a joyful and peaceful Sunday!

[Algy is quoting the poem Pied Beauty by the late 19th century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.]

The First Song of the Skylark


Although it was heavily overcast at times, with a nasty tendency to sudden downpours of rain or sleet, it was glorious when the sun managed to escape from the clouds for a while. So Algy flew on towards the woodlands, and found himself an open spot on the hillside. The ground still felt very cold and unpleasantly damp, so he stretched himself out along a half-broken limb of a massive old oak tree, and indulged in a wee bit of early spring sunbathing. Suddenly, from high in the blue above him, he heard that wonderful prelude to spring… the first song of a skylark…

Algy hopes that even if you are not able to hear a skylark, you will all be able to find some sunshine this weekend 🙂

Sea Thrift


Algy was hopping about here and there beside the sea, engaging in that popular Scottish pastime of trying to find a wee sheltered spot out of the wind, when he suddenly noticed a startling patch of pink among the lichen-covered rocks at the side of the beach.

Flying over to the place excitedly, he was thrilled to discover that the first thrift flowers of the spring were blooming merrily in the sunshine just a storm-wave’s length from the sea. Amazed that the plant could manage to survive in such a harsh and salty environment, Algy thanked it kindly for brightening up the rocks beside his home and bringing a happy smile to his face 🙂

All Day Ebb and Flow


On a fine but decidedly chilly spring day, Algy perched on a mass of slimy seaweed, watching the tide come in. He was intrigued by the increasing flow of clear water through a sandy channel between the rocks. With each tiny wave the ripples advanced a little further and the drying seaweed got a wee bit wetter and more colourful again. Algy knew that in a few moments more he would have to hop into the air, if he didn’t want his legs and tail feathers drenched with salty water, and he wondered just how long he could wait… He was reminded of a haiku by Buson:

The spring sea
all day ebb and flow
ebb and flow

Algy wishes you all a beautiful, calm and peaceful weekend xoxo

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

Back to the Beach :)


The weather had been unpleasantly wintry in the latter part of April: temperatures had dropped to near freezing, bitter northerly gales had brought frequent showers of sleet and snow, and all the creatures of the west Highlands, Algy included, had taken cover and tried to keep warm as best they could.

But as the month drew to a close, the weather began to change, albeit very slowly, and on Wednesday the wind dropped and the world was filled with light. Although it was still very cold, Algy stretched himself out on the sand in front of the sparkling sea, and marvelled at the beautiful colours it could display when it had a mind to… He was surprised to find a substantial scattering of sea shells on this stretch of the beach, where they only rarely appeared, and wondered how so many could have got there so quickly.