Algy Picks a Posy for a Sick Friend

Hearing that one of his old friends was ill, Algy picked a specially bright posy to take to her. Distracted for a moment by a beautiful rainbow over the sea, he paused in his tree to rehearse this sonnet for her recovery:

          Fair flower! that fall’n beneath the angry blast,
          Which marks with wither’d sweets its fearful way,
          I grieve to see thee on the low earth cast,
          While beauty’s trembling tints fade fast away.
          But who is she, that from the mountain’s head
          Comes gaily on, cheering the child of earth?
          The walks of woe bloom bright beneath her tread,
          And Nature smiles with renovated mirth?
          ‘Tis Health! She comes: and, hark! the vallies ring,
          And, hark! the echoing hills repeat the sound:
          She sheds the new-blown blossoms of the spring,
          And all their fragrance floats her footsteps round.
          And, hark! she whispers in the zephyr’s voice,
          Lift up thy head, fair floweret, and rejoice!

[Algy is rehearsing the sonnet To … On Her Recovery From Illness by the 19th century poet Thomas Gent.]

Algy Finds No Other Breeze Could Have So Wild a Swell

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As the equinoctial gales swirl all around Britain, Algy finds it a wee bit difficult to hold on, in his not-so-sheltered corner of the Scottish Highlands:

        That wind is from the North, I know it well;
        No other breeze could have so wild a swell.

[From The North Wind by Anne Brontë.]

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Algy Celebrates World Rhino Day 2012

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Algy loves rhinoceroses. To celebrate World Rhino Day he invited some very special friends for a quiet holiday in the West Highlands, far away from harm.

[Algy gratefully acknowledges the source of these particular rhinos, in a photo by Clem Evans, evo2000, on flickr, adapted under a Creative Commons licence.]

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Algy Discovers His Yellow Hair Leaps in Reflection

When he had finished sunbathing, Algy explored the rocks exposed at low tide, and was fascinated to discover his own reflection, deep in an intriguing pool:

         The rock pool
         is a magic circle
         full of colours the sea
         washes in—
         blues, greens, browns, reds:
         yellow that leaps
         in reflection
         and does a somersault
         over your head!

[From The Rock Pool by the Australian poet of Polish/Ukrainian origin, Peter Skryznecki.]

As It Looked One Afternoon in August

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Towards the end of August when the sun was still pleasant, before the early autumn rains and mist had closed in, Algy spent a lazy afternoon at the beach:

         I see it as it looked one afternoon
         In August,— by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.
         The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,
         A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.
         The shining waters with pale currents strewn

[From Long Island Sound by Emma Lazarus.]

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Oh! Rowan Tree, Oh! Rowan Tree.

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Like many other birds, Algy is extremely partial to rowan berries. Despite his obvious enthusiasm for the fruit, however, he is not unaware of the other properties of this most beautiful West Highland tree.

          How fair wert thou in simmer time,
          Wi’ a’ thy clusters white
          How rich and gay thy autumn dress,
          Wi’ berries red and bright.
          On thy fair stem were many names,
          Which now nae mair I see,
          But they’re engraven on my heart.
          Forgot they ne’er can be!

               Oh! Rowan tree!

[From the old Scottish song The Rowan Tree, whose lyrics were written by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766-1845). Many different versions of this lovely Scottish air have been recorded over the years. Try listening to this recording by John McDermott on YouTube.]

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