On the Jetty…

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It was low tide, more or less. Algy flew over to the jetty where the humans did things with boats, perched cautiously on the cold, slippery surface, and turned his back to the freezing wind. It was rather a slimy spot, so Algy didn’t think that he would care to stop there long, but he liked to watch the shimmering light on the shallow water and wet sand…

Algy thought that perhaps he had absorbed enough salt water and sand for a while. It took him all morning to clean his feathers after his night-time adventure on the beach, so he decided to try a much drier and more sheltered environment for a change. After flying inland for an hour or so, he alighted in an open woodland where the steep slopes were covered in masses of beautiful heather. It was a gorgeous early autumn day, and the air was warm and full of the fragrance of honey. Reclining on a soft bed of heather flowers, Algy laid back and relaxed in the sunshine, idly watching the late bees, and thinking of an old poem that he loved:

High waving heather ‘neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars,
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
Man’s spirit away from its drear dungeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.

All down the mountain sides wild forests lending
One mighty voice to the life-giving wind,
Rivers their banks in their jubilee rending,
Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
Wider and deeper their waters extending,
Leaving a desolate desert behind.

Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
Changing forever from midnight to noon;
Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
Lightning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.

Algy hopes that if your spirits have been trapped in drear dungeons, they will ascend this weekend and you will have a happy, relaxing time xoxo

[Algy is quoting the poem High Waving Heather by the 19th century English writer Emily Brontë.]

Algy has his very own rock garden, just a stone’s throw from his
nest. It lies between the cliff face and the sea, and it’s full of
flowers and low shrubby bushes which grow all higgledy-piggledy among
the rocks. It is not much to look at in the cold, dark months, when the Atlantic storms batter the
coast, but in the late summer and very early
autumn it is in its glory, with beautiful ling and bell heather to
tempt the bees and other insects with the fragrance of honey, and many
late-flowering wildflowers, most of them in shades of purple or
creamy-white. Green mosses and ferns grow in the deep, dank hollows
between the rocks, and along the concealed burn which runs down to the
sea there is a large swathe of aromatic bog myrtle. It’s a beautiful
spot, and if the weather should happen to be fine, Algy spends many
happy hours among the flowers in his garden, inhaling the fragrance and
admiring the view.

Algy wishes you all a happy Sunday afternoon and evening  xoxo

Algy flew on to his favourite lookout point. At this time of year the terraces of bare rock were provided with dense cushions of grasses and heather, and it looked much more welcoming than in the winter, although it was still the most exposed spot on the headland. He reclined on the grass in the early autumn sunshine, with his back against the warm rock and his hair feathers streaming out in the wind, and began to compose a new song…

It was a fine early autumn afternoon and the wind was blowing from the north, bringing cool, clean air which felt pleasantly fresh and new. Algy thought it was an excellent day to visit his friend Plog, so he flew over to the bog and perched on a grassy tussock beside the blue pool. The grasses had already taken on their autumn tints, in a subtle array of beige, reds, browns, greens and golds. Each single blade of grass now had a coat of many colours, changing from green at the base to gold or russet at the tip. Dragonflies darted here and there, and there were even a few late bees buzzing around happily in the warm sunshine, visiting the low-growing heather that flowered among the rocks and on the drier patches of ground. It was a lovely sight on a golden afternoon, and Algy hoped that the good weather would last a wee bit longer, as the landscape looked so much more beautiful in full colour…

If you don’t know who Plog is, Algy says please check out his book A Surprisingly Fluffy Bird. Plog also plays an important role in Algy’s second book, which is already under way and should be available before Christmas 🙂

The wind just would not stop blowing, and although Algy wanted to collect shells on the beach, he was feeling terribly sick of sand: sand stuck in his hair, sand all over his face, sand embedded between his fluffy feathers, sand flying everywhere… So he shook himself off again, and moved to the rocks, where there wasn’t any sand to blow about. He discovered a smooth, sheltered hollow where the wind couldn’t reach him, and leaned back against the warm rock, to soak up the last of the late summer sunshine, and listen to the water splashing on the rock and the waves breaking on the beach.

Have a happy, relaxing weekend, everyone xoxo

(Algy apologises for the wind noise on the soundtrack – the same wind that was blowing the sand everywhere – but he thought you might like to hear the sea. He also apologises for the compression artefacts.)

The wind was relentless, and it was blowing sand everywhere. It wasn’t long before Algy’s eyes and beak and feathers and hair were all full of sand, so he shook himself off and retreated to the relative shelter of a clump of Marram grass growing in the middle of the beach. As he dug himself into a sand pocket, he watched the wind fill in the footprints of the sandpipers and other seabirds. It only took a few moments to erase their tracks across the beach, and it reminded Algy of a poem:

The wind stops, the wind begins.
The wind says stop, begin.

A sea shovel scrapes the sand floor.
The shovel changes, the floor changes.

The sandpipers, maybe they know.
Maybe a three-pointed foot can tell.
Maybe the fog moon they fly to, guesses.

The sandpipers cheep “Here” and get away.
Five of them fly and keep together flying.

Night hair of some sea woman
Curls on the sand when the sea leaves
The salt tide without a good-by.

Boxes on the beach are empty.
Shake ‘em and the nails loosen.
They have been somewhere.

[Algy is quoting the poem Sand Scribblings by the 20th century American poet Carl Sandburg.]