A Light Exists in Spring…


Algy relaxed in the safety of the wee corner he had found, and basked in the unaccustomed warmth of the early spring sunlight. The wind was still icy, but in a sheltered spot it felt comfortably pleasant – as is so often the case in the wild west Highlands of Scotland when the sun deigns to shine…

It was the vernal equinox, and as Algy gazed at the bright colours glowing all around him, he rejoiced at the start of the light half of the year – and remembered some lines from a poem he had read, although he felt that its reference to human nature was a wee bit restrictive…

A light exists in spring
Not present on the year
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here

A color stands abroad
On solitary hills
That silence cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.

Algy wishes all his friends in the northern hemisphere a very Happy Spring!

[Algy is quoting the first two stanzas of a A Light Exists in Spring by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]

A New Adventure…


It was the beginning of Algy’s 7th year of adventures, and a glorious early spring day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and although one could hardly say that it was warm, there was a feeling of energy and excitement in the air of the kind which makes fluffy birds want to be up and doing and exploring the bright new world.

Algy had often gazed out across the sea towards the many islands which surrounded his home, and wondered what it might be like to visit them. But being a land-based fluffy bird who had had some unfortunate and frightening encounters with the ocean in the past, he did not care to fly far across any kind of water, and especially not across the briny deep. He decided to consult his friends, and was delighted to learn that there was indeed a safe and convenient way for a fluffy bird to visit one of the nearest islands: it was a conveyance which human beings used, but from time to time it also carried other creatures, including birds who did not care to fly or who needed to rest while crossing the water. So, following instructions, Algy made his way to the embarkation point, and waited patiently for the strange contraption to arrive…


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 🙂

[To join in the fun, just send Algy a link to a post you would like to share with him on his birthday, or use the lovefromalgy submission form. If you are submitting an image, be sure to select Photo from the pop-down menu at top left of the submission form, which defaults to Text. Algy’s party will run all day and into the night on 13th March, on his sideblog @lovefromalgy.]

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


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.]



Algy had been away on a long, sad journey through the depths of the most dismal winter he had known, but as the year turned once more, and the sun started to rise higher in the sky each day, he gradually made his way back home. And there he found his little black teddy bear, waiting patiently to show him the first beautiful crocuses of the new spring…

Algy sat himself down on the damp ground and gazed at the lovely flowers, while he inhaled their sweet fragrance of saffron. Although the temperature was only just above freezing, the sun warmed his feathers until at last he began to feel quite fluffy again. He looked happily at his little black teddy, and then started to recite this poem:

Down in my solitude under the snow,
Where nothing cheering can reach me;
Here, without light to see how to grow,
I’ll trust to nature to teach me.

I will not despair, nor be idle, nor frown,
Locked in so gloomy a dwelling;
My leaves shall run up, and my roots shall run down,
While the bud in my bosom is swelling.

Soon as the frost will get out of my bed,
From this cold dungeon to free me,
I will peer up with my little bright head;
All will be joyful to see me.

Then from my heart will young petals diverge,
As rays of the sun from their focus;
I from the darkness of earth will emerge
A happy and beautiful Crocus!

Gaily arrayed in my yellow and green,
When to their view I have risen,
Will they not wonder how one so serene
Came from so dismal a prison?

Many, perhaps, from so simple a flower
This little lesson may borrow—
Patient to-day, through its gloomiest hour,
We come out the brighter to-morrow!

[Algy is reciting the poem The Crocus’s Soliloquy by the early 19th century American poet Hannah Flag Gould.]

A Very Fine Day!


The West Highlands of Scotland had been experiencing a short spell of glorious spring weather, and Algy had made sure that he experienced it too 🙂

He flew out to the lighthouse, his favourite spot in the area, and perched on a dry clump of heather to study the view of the islands. The Isle of Eigg was the most prominent (just left of centre on the horizon) with the mountainous Isle of Rum to its left and the low-lying Isle of Muck hugging the sea in front of that. And in the distance, between Rum and Eigg, he could clearly see the peaks of the famous Cuillin on the Isle of Skye. It was indeed a very fine day!

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy some fine weather and beautiful views this weekend 🙂

Sea Thrift


Algy was hopping about here and there beside the sea, engaging in that popular Scottish pastime of trying to find a wee sheltered spot out of the wind, when he suddenly noticed a startling patch of pink among the lichen-covered rocks at the side of the beach.

Flying over to the place excitedly, he was thrilled to discover that the first thrift flowers of the spring were blooming merrily in the sunshine just a storm-wave’s length from the sea. Amazed that the plant could manage to survive in such a harsh and salty environment, Algy thanked it kindly for brightening up the rocks beside his home and bringing a happy smile to his face 🙂