The Triumph of Life

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Algy tucked himself down among the soft mass of dry bracken and last year’s fallen leaves, and reclined there happily, spreading his wings to catch as much of the late winter sun as he could. The sun was strong enough now to dazzle his eyes and cast deep shadows all around him, but its warmth was only the tepid heat of someone who has just woken up from a long, cold winter’s sleep. He rejoiced in the return of the light, however, and was reminded of the opening lines of Shelley’s poem:

Swift as a spirit hastening to his task
Of glory and of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, and the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.

[Algy is quoting the opening lines of the long, unfinished poem The Triumph of Life by the 19th century English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.]

How Long Before Spring?

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Algy flew onwards to the shores of the quiet loch, which, owing to the bitter March wind, was a wee bit less calm than usual. He tucked himself down among the masses of dead bracken beside the shore, trying to ignore the spikes of the numerous bramble stems which wound their way mercilessly through the dry fronds. It was a fine morning, and the loch was unusually blue, but the colours surrounding it were still those of winter, with not a hint of green in sight. Algy wondered how long it would be before the landscape was transformed once again by the touch of spring…

The Secret Song

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Algy flew into the edge of a forest beside the great sea loch, and found a cosy spot where he could recline on a soft bed of grass and dry bracken. Lying back among the autumn foliage he stared up at the tall trees towering above him, listening to the sounds of the birds and tiny insects who were going about their daily lives in this peaceful environment. It was much calmer inside the forest than on the shores of the loch, and he could hear many wee rustling noises and murmurings of the forest folk. Algy reflected on the amazing complexity of life that went almost entirely unnoticed most of the time… It reminded him of a children’s poem which he had discovered recently:

Who saw the petals
drop from the rose?
I, said the spider,
but nobody knows.

Who saw the sunset
flash on a bird?
I, said the fish,
but nobody heard.

Who saw the fog
come over the sea?
I, said the sea pigeon,
only me.

Who saw the first
green light of the sun?
I, said the night owl,
the only one.

Who saw the moss
creep over the stone?
I, said the grey fox,
all alone.

Algy hopes that you all have a calm and peaceful Sunday xo

[Algy is quoting the poem The Secret Song by the early 20th century American writer of children’s books, Margaret Wise Brown.]

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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…

Just a wee bit further up the burn, the water flowed quietly across the moor, trickling calmly around the red stones which lined its banks. On a fine day, it looked bluer than the sky it was reflecting, creating a beautiful contrast to the russet and beige colours of the moorland in early autumn. As the burns always cut deep channels through the peaty soil, their banks tend to be relatively sheltered and warm, so Algy tucked himself down happily on the edge of the grass near the water, to soak up some of the welcome sunshine while it lasted…

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy some sunshine this weekend xo

The Scotch mist kept sweeping across the sea and the hills in huge fuzzy waves, obscuring everything as it smothered the land with a swirling wet blanket of pale grey. Algy found himself a perch on a damp but comfortable rock, and looked around. The landscape as a whole had mostly vanished, but as he gazed at the damp mosses and lichens on his rock, and the tangled stems of last year’s bracken, he found that the colours began to glow, despite the general greyness of the mist. Higher up in the branches above his head, a robin started to sing in a beautiful, clear voice, and Algy smiled. It might still look like winter, but tomorrow was his birthday and that meant that spring, with all its flowers and songs, was just around the next corner!

Algy sends his fluffiest thanks to all his wonderful friends who have already sent birthday posts and greetings for his birthday celebrations tomorrow.

Algy invites you all to his 4th Tumblr birthday party on Algy’s own sideblog @lovefromalgy tomorrow (Sunday 13th March 2016) – there will be lots of fun, free Kindle books, ice cream, wonderful images from Algy’s friends, and all kinds of fluffy surprises! To join in the fun and celebrations, please use the lovefromalgy submission form or send Algy a link to a post on your own blog.

Algy decided to inspect some of the other burns in the area, so he flew down to a pleasant spot on the Mill Burn, where a pair of old alder trees grew out of the bank, with their toes in the water and their lichen-covered branches sweeping low across the stream to the other side. The water in the burn was quite deep, and at this spot it swirled round and round in circles, in a way that Algy loved to watch.

So long as the winter sunshine lasted it was positively pleasant just perching on the bank, looking at the water, but although the sky was a spring-like blue and white on one side, it was entirely black on the other, and Algy was sure that another battering shower of freezing hail and sleet was approaching rapidly.