Flaming June…

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For days and days and days – that felt like weeks and months and years – the dense Scotch mist had smothered the West Highlands of Scotland with a dark and exceedingly thick wet blanket. Algy had heard a distant rumour that this would be the hottest, sunniest weekend of the year to date… in the UK…

So, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the year, Algy perched on a dripping fence post and studied the moss growing on top of the post in front of him. As most of the world had vanished, it was almost all he could see, but he was glad to discover that at least some things seemed to thrive in these conditions…

Flaming June, they call it.

Spring has Sprung :)

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It was a fine spring afternoon on the warmest day so far this year. Of course that doesn’t mean it was warm by the standards of some of Algy’s friends around the world; indeed, they would probably have found it quite chilly. But it was decidedly warm for the Scottish Highlands in March and, better still, there was very little wind. Algy noticed that some of the other birds were sunbathing for the first time this spring, so he decided to try it too. The skylarks were singing overhead, some early bumble bees were busy among the flowers, and there was even a butterfly fluttering about, so Algy spent a very pleasant and peaceful Sunday afternoon, resting among the daffodils in the sunshine, and he hopes that you have all enjoyed a happy Sunday afternoon too 🙂

Encounter on the Hill

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Algy had a strange encounter on the hill last week…

Shortly after this photo was taken, the black coo cautiously approached Algy, one step at a time, evidently unsure what this strange creature might be. Eventually the coo came close enough to reach out and discover whether a fluffy bird was something a hielan’ coo could eat… Of course Algy knew that coos do not eat birds, but nevertheless he thought it prudent to consider the “encounter” at an end at that point, and fly away to a safer spot where he could not be munched by a large, hairy animal 🙂

A Lonesome Bog…

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The mist was down again. There had been a few clear, sunny days earlier in the week, and Algy had even seen some bright blue sky at times, but such conditions rarely lasted long on the wild west coast of the Scottish Highlands, for the north Atlantic weather systems ensured an almost constant supply of clouds and rain.

Algy found himself a damp perch on a clump of soggy grasses and heather, and gazed into a spontaneous bog pool which was strewn with last year’s grasses, tossed about by the wind. Despite the cold, grey wetness of it all, Algy could detect a change in the air. The rain and the mist and the wind might not stop, but Algy knew that the winter was almost over, and any day now the skylarks would start to sing again, announcing the beginning of a new spring. So Algy peered into the water, wondering whether any frogs were sleeping down below, and murmured one of his favourite silly poems in case they might be listening:

The moon came late to a lonesome bog,
And there sat Goggleky Gluck, the frog.
“My stars!” she cried, and veiled her face,
“What very grand people they have in this place!”

Algy wishes you all a very happy weekend 🙂

[Algy is reciting the short poem The moon came late by the 19th century American writer Mary Mapes Dodge.]

Happy Valentine’s Day !

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Algy is excited because it is St. Valentine’s Day and he has some beautiful red roses to give all his amazing friends. The wonderful thing about the internet is that he can give roses to all his friends at once 🙂

Algy sends you all his love, and lots of very fluffy hugs from the wild and windy West Highlands of Scotland xoxo

Return of the Light

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An icy wind had begun to blow from the bitter north-east, but it brought much brighter, clearer, and decidedly fresher weather. Algy could see that the world was tilting rapidly towards the northern spring now, and light was returning to the wild West Highlands of Scotland. The dreaded darkness of winter was receding faster every day, and although it was still very cold, all the birds were rejoicing, including Algy 🙂 He perched happily on the branch of a still-dormant birch tree, and gazed at the sky. Spring was on its way!

Algy hopes that even if you are feeling cold this weekend, your world will be filled with new light 🙂

Now in the Dark of February Rains…

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Algy perched limply in a spiky japonica bush, his feathers drip-drip-dripping in the rain, and gazed in wonder at the masses of red buds and beginnings of new green leaves which had appeared in the last few days. It was still dark and dismal, and very wet and windy, but there was no doubt now that spring was lurking around the corner, and Algy was reminded of the opening of a poem he had once heard:

Now in the dark of February rains,
Poor lovers of the sunshine, spring is born,
The earthy fields are full of hidden corn,
And March’s violets bud along the lanes

If your days seem dark and dismal too, don’t forget that spring is waiting just around the corner to brighten up the world again 🙂

[Algy is quoting the first verse of the poem In February by the 19th century Scottish writer and minister, George MacDonald.]