Up on the field this evening, when I go to close the doors on roosting hens, the grass is already crisp underfoot with frost. Over in Badnage Wood the last pheasants are going up into the sanctuary of the trees, their alarm calls loud in the cold still air. Their night is terrifyingly dark - Brer Fox's teeth and claws an ever present threat.
The sky is clear, on the horizon the palest pink melds into aquamarine which in turn becomes inky black. The moon, which may or may not be full, has risen and hangs over the trees of our dingle. As my eyes become accustomed to the darkness I find I do not need a torch such is the brightness of the silvery light.
I make my way back through the field towards the house with moonlight falling on my back. But what's that? There - on the ground in front of me? Oh, most wonderful. I have a moon shadow.