Dozing in the Sunshine…

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Algy adopted a more comfortable position on his odd perch, and leaned back happily against the convenient, curving support which the strange object had thoughtfully provided for the convenience of fluffy birds. It seemed to fit him perfectly, and Algy decided to doze peacefully there for a while, as it was always prudent to take advantage of the sunshine while it lasted…

Algy hopes that you will all have a very happy weekend, with at least one opportunity to doze peacefully in pleasant sunshine 😀

The Dawn Treader…

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The tide had receded even further, and the creel boats were leaning listlessly against one another, high and dry. Algy thought it would be fascinating to see the parts of the boats which were usually underwater, so he flew back to the fishermen’s pier and found a convenient perch on a strange object which was suspended against the side of the wharf. The boats looked surprisingly large close to; they towered above him, blocking out the bright sunlight and throwing deep black shadows onto the exposed sea bed. Standing beside the further boat, almost lost in the shadows, a friendly human was very busy doing something mysterious to the underneath of his vessel. Looking up for a moment, he greeted Algy kindly, remarking that it was a fine day, and when Algy returned the greeting and gazed at the boat above the man’s head, he noticed that it had an unusual name, which may be of interest to fans of C. S. Lewis’s Narnia stories…

It had been a dry, bright week, but the fine weather was coming to an end – or so
the forecast said – and the cloud bank that had been hovering in the distance for days
was about to sweep over the land.

Algy perched among the Marram grass on the
foreshore, his beak tucked into a book of poetry, while the sea birds
investigated the exposed sand by the tidal islands. The tide was unusually low, and Algy was reminded of a sonnet by Longfellow, which he dedicates to all his friends who are feeling low themselves just now, whether from depression, from exhaustion at the end of a long, dreary winter, or just from the stresses and strains of age. May the ebbed tide sweep in again and bring you “love, laughter, and the exultant joy of song”:

          I saw the long line of the vacant shore,
          The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
          And the brown rocks left bare on every hand
          As if the ebbing tide would flow no more.
          Then heard I, more distinctly than before,
          The ocean breathe and its great breast expand,
          And hurrying came on the defenceless land
          The insurgent waters with tumultuous roar.
          All thought and feeling and desire, I said,
          Love, laughter, and the exultant joy of song,
          Have ebbed from me for ever! Suddenly o’er me
          They swept again from their deep ocean bed,
          And in a tumult of delight, and strong
          As youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me!

And Algy has a special word today for his friend qbnscholar: upbore 🙂

[Algy is quoting the sonnet The Tides by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

Algy decided to try to find out for himself how many blackberries grow in the sea. He got as close as he could to the ocean without actually immersing himself in it, but there was no sign of any blackberries… Of course the water was very shallow over that part of the beach at low tide, which might explain why nothing was growing there – or perhaps it was simply because it was the middle of winter 🙂

But Algy didn’t really mind; the sun was shining, and the low afternoon light looked so lovely on the water that he just leaned back and enjoyed the beautiful view, for as long as the incoming tide would allow.

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Listen to the seabirds calling in the shallows of the great sea loch at low tide – the sounds Algy heard on a sunny afternoon in July.

{The sound will be clearest through headphones or external speakers. Algy apologises for the background noise on this track – it was a wee bit windy again!}

As Algy moved further down the loch the tide ebbed, leaving large areas of wet sand and shallow water full of sea birds bathing and squabbling and looking for food in the late afternoon sunshine.

Listen to the sounds of the seabirds calling to each other while Algy watched them from the rocky shore.

Although the beach is wonderful at any time, there are many treasures hidden there which are only revealed at low tide. Algy especially loves the rock pools – tiny, saltwater worlds enjoying an eternally precarious and dramatic existence between the ocean and the dry land. Strange wee marine creatures live in that beautiful underwater environment full of shimmering broken shells, colourful seaweeds, and glistening pebbles. For as long as the tide is out, the rock pools are peaceful havens of calm, and Algy loves to gaze into each one to discover what may be going on there.