It's 9.55pm. The sky is the colour of a Collar Dove's wing; soft and pink-grey. Not a breathe of wind either. Air, leaf, branch and blade are still. The cobweb of dark that is Night drops into the stillness and over my shoulders. Damp.
Up on the little field a Pheasant shrieks fear and dread at the dying of the day. There's a Thrush too, up in one of the sycamores, melodious, repetitive and why?
Badnage Wood is black - from its borders, from the streams and dingles, clefts, nests and crevices come creeping, stirring, snufflin' those night creatures - pressing cold noses into hedge bottoms and through damp grass. Be on your guard all you things that scamper, squirm and sliver: beetle and worm, mouse, snail and slug - the warm licking tongues and crunching jaws of Messrs. Badger and Fox are but a bite away.
It's the chill around my shoulders that eventually brings me indoors - but also (and only a little bit) the thought that out there somewhere in the gloaming is a something bigger than me.