Foggy, Foggy Dew

Adventures-of-Algy-270917.jpg

The fog had decorated every tiny blade of grass and every delicate seed head with pearly drops of water which hung motionless in the unusually calm air. Algy was surprised to see that there were still a few wee heather flowers blooming here and there, although it was nearly October, and the bees were still buzzing busily, despite the excessive dampness which not only descended from above but oozed up squelchily from below to soak Algy’s tail feathers whenever he perched on the ground…

Algy hopped down to the water’s edge and perched on a clump of lush green grass. Leaning forward, he peered down deep into the blue water, trying to see whether he could spot a frog among the water lilies, but although he looked as hard as he could, there was no sign of his amphibian friends. Then suddenly he noticed a wee movement on the soggy ground beside him. Several tiny froglets were making their way clumsily towards the shelter of the grasses, their spindly legs stumbling over the matted roots. Algy wished them well, and hoped they would have a safe journey…

It was a fine, warm autumn afternoon, so Algy tucked himself down into the long grasses and rested. In the quiet and peaceful environment of his remote home on the wild west coast of Scotland, he was thinking of all his wonderful Tumblr friends, dispersed in so many different places around the world: old friends and new friends, young friends and old friends, healthy friends and sick friends, urban friends and country friends. So many different people, with so many different experiences…

Algy knows that many of you live busy and sometimes even stressful lives, with many different challenges to face. So he sends you all his fluffiest hugs, and hopes that you will all take some time this weekend just to rest awhile:

Come, rest awhile, and let us idly stray
In glimmering valleys, cool and far away.

Come from the greedy mart, the troubled street,
And listen to the music, faint and sweet,

That echoes ever to a listening ear,
Unheard by those who will not pause to hear­

The wayward chimes of memory’s pensive bells,
Wind-blown o’er misty hills and curtained dells.

One step aside and dewy buds unclose
The sweetness of the violet and the rose;

Song and romance still linger in the green,
Emblossomed ways by you so seldom seen,

And near at hand, would you but see them, lie
All lovely things beloved in days gone by.

You have forgotten what it is to smile
In your too busy life­; come, rest awhile.

[Algy is quoting the poem Come, rest awhile by the late 19th/early 20th century Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery.]

Algy flew on to his favourite lookout point. At this time of year the terraces of bare rock were provided with dense cushions of grasses and heather, and it looked much more welcoming than in the winter, although it was still the most exposed spot on the headland. He reclined on the grass in the early autumn sunshine, with his back against the warm rock and his hair feathers streaming out in the wind, and began to compose a new song…

It was a fine early autumn afternoon and the wind was blowing from the north, bringing cool, clean air which felt pleasantly fresh and new. Algy thought it was an excellent day to visit his friend Plog, so he flew over to the bog and perched on a grassy tussock beside the blue pool. The grasses had already taken on their autumn tints, in a subtle array of beige, reds, browns, greens and golds. Each single blade of grass now had a coat of many colours, changing from green at the base to gold or russet at the tip. Dragonflies darted here and there, and there were even a few late bees buzzing around happily in the warm sunshine, visiting the low-growing heather that flowered among the rocks and on the drier patches of ground. It was a lovely sight on a golden afternoon, and Algy hoped that the good weather would last a wee bit longer, as the landscape looked so much more beautiful in full colour…

If you don’t know who Plog is, Algy says please check out his book A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird. Plog also plays an important role in Algy’s second book, which is already under way and should be available before Christmas 🙂

Algy hopped out of the rhododendron bush, and into the middle of the forest clearing. There he lay back, wings outstretched, and floated happily upon the peaceful sea of green grasses and young bracken, surrounded by hundreds of bluebells and other flowers. It was a much safer sea than the one he was used to, and fortunately the thousands of midges and ticks which also love this environment were not really interested in such a fluffy bird…

Algy hopes that you will all have a happy, peaceful weekend, and not be troubled by insects and other summery pests!

As he flew home from the oak woods, Algy paused by the wayside to inspect his own wee waterfall. This miniature water feature only appears when there has been plenty of rain; in dry weather it vanishes entirely, so that a casual passer-by could never guess that it existed. Algy loves to tuck himself in to a sheltered hollow among the grasses and ferns that grow beside a tiny cave which the water has carved out of the rocky hillside over the years. Just as in many grander and more famous water features, the water falls down vertically across the mouth of this cave, like a fascinating, ever-changing curtain which partly obscures the mysteries within.

Algy made himself comfortable, and sat there peacefully for some time. While he gazed at the flickering waterfall and listened to the gentle, trickling sounds that it made, Algy thought how lucky he was to be living in a place where there was a never-ending supply of clean, fresh water – and where it took so many beautiful forms! He thought of all his friends in drier parts of the world, and hoped that the rain would continue to fall wherever it was needed.

Listen to the sound of Algy’s waterfall. Algy hopes that for those of you who need it, the sound will help to encourage the rain :))

It was almost spring now. As Algy watched the water tumbling gently down in front of the tiny cave, he was reminded of a haiku by the Japanese master Isha:

          Early spring –
          stream flows
          toward my door

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