Algy’s Balloon Helicopter

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Algy received several new toys for his birthday, but his favourite was the balloon helicopter 🙂

Algy hopes you are all enjoying his birthday as much as he is! He thanks all his wonderful friends who have sent messages and greetings and contributions to his Amazing Tumblr Birthday Party on his sideblog @lovefromalgy and sends you all lots of his very fluffiest hugs xoxo

And if you have not yet had a chance to join in, the party is still in full swing 🙂

One Day to Go…

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Algy was feeling very excited, because the next day was his birthday, and he was going to host a big Tumblr party for all his friends 🙂

In the meantime, Algy had to wait patiently for the big day to arrive… Luckily, it was a beautiful morning, and once the frost had melted it felt almost warm in the early spring sunshine. All the crocuses opened their faces with enormous smiles to greet the sun, and even the daffodils were beginning to think timidly about showing their petals. So Algy settled himself down among the flowers and opened his battered old copy of Longfellow’s poems. Turning to page 10, he read:

When the warm sun, that brings
Seed-time and harvest, has returned again,
’Tis sweet to visit the still wood, where springs
The first flower of the plain.

I love the season well,
When forest glades are teeming with bright forms,
Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell
The coming-on of storms.

From the earth’s loosened mould
The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives;
Though stricken to the heart with winter’s cold,
The drooping tree revives.

The softly-warbled song
Comes from the pleasant woods, and colored wings
Glance quick in the bright sun, that moves along
The forest openings.

Don’t miss Algy’s party on @lovefromalgy tomorrow!

[Algy is reading the opening stanzas of the poem An April Day by the 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.]

Pied Beauty

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Algy flew over to a soft, mossy bank beneath a spreading holly tree, which, with the exception of the vigorous ivy that smothered some of the older tree trunks, provided the only truly bright green in the woodland at this time of year. He lay back comfortably on a bed of last year’s fallen leaves, dreaming idly of the exciting new adventures that lay ahead while he gazed at the beautiful, dappled pattern of shadows which the holly leaves cast in the bright spring sunlight. It reminded him of one of his favourite poems:

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Algy wishes you all a joyful and peaceful Sunday!

[Algy is quoting the poem Pied Beauty by the late 19th century English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.]

The Woodland Waterfall

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Deep in the heart of the oak woods a special wee waterfall, which Algy loved, splashed its way merrily down the hillside. It tumbled over the rocks into a small, clear pool which was perfect for fluffy birds to bathe in, then trickled out again to wind its way down to the quiet loch below. Algy often visited this spot in the summer, when the mosses and ferns which lined its course were a beautiful, fresh green, but he rarely came here in the darker months. For in the cold shade of the woodland there were still ice formations around the banks of the burn, even though the weather was undoubtedly getting milder, and the chill grip of winter hung on longer here than in other spots. But the splashing of the waterfall was delightfully soothing at any time of year, and Algy lingered for a while to watch the water play, and listen to its constant lullaby…

Algy hopes that the ice which still has a grip on so many of his friends in the northern part of the world will melt very soon now, and be replaced with all the comforts of spring 🙂

The First Song of the Skylark

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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 🙂

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…