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 🙂

Algy flew into the old oak wood and found himself a perch among the leaves of a massive Atlantic Oak. The trees were all dressed in their finest spring green, and the leaves rustled gently in the breeze. Before long a robin started singing from another branch nearby, and so Algy happily joined in the annual song of the ancient woodland…

Some very nasty weather was on its way, bringing the first of the winter gales, so Algy made the most of one final opportunity to enjoy the colours – and some autumn sunshine – before the storm swept in to blow all the leaves off the trees and turn the world to grey.

As he perched on a mossy stump beneath an old oak tree, he thought of the famous poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

Live thy Life,
Young and old,
Like yon oak,
Bright in spring,
Living gold;

Then; and then
Gold again.

All his leaves
Fall’n at length,
Look, he stands,
Trunk and bough
Naked strength.

[Algy is quoting the poem The Oak by the 19th century English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.]

Deep in the woods, the hillsides were surprisingly steep. A massive Atlantic Oak tree had lost its footing in an ancient storm, and its great trunk now made a wonderful horizontal perch for a fluffy bird, or for any other creature who happened to come along. It was covered in soft, deep mosses and lichens, and young ferns were springing up along the old branches, turning them green once again.

Algy found a comfortable perch in the old oak tree, and looked down into the peat bog below. He thought he could see a frog making its way through the sodden grasses of the bog, and he remembered a haiku by Issa:

          while croaking he jumps –
          frog in the rainy