I think I knew there was going to be something special about today when I woke at first light to the sound of birdsong. A wren had flown into the bedroom and stood, bobbing and tweeting only a couple of feet from where I lay. We studied each other for a few seconds before the little bird flew back out of the window. What a tiny, delicate and perfect thing it was. Surely a good omen? Coincidentally, the previous day a robin had flown in too and perched on the dressing table before crashing frantically against the windows in an bid for freedom. It didn't seem to have the wit to go out the same way that it came in.
We've had a number of birds coming in recently - Chester had great sport earlier in the week when he discovered another wren perched high on the beams in the kitchen - he is a hunting dog after all. Judging by the little splots and splashes left here, there and everywhere, the little bird had flown through the house and roosted overnight in the study, having come down from upstairs the day before. (I should add that small birds are fine - but anything much larger- pigeons, pheasants, ravens or buzzards for example - just aren't welcome. The mess. Imagine the mess. And those big scary beaks.)
Enough of birds - save to say the wren flew out into a shimmery shiny morning. All looked well with the world. It was one of those mornings when living on the top of a mountain has its advantages - we were bathed in sunlight, the sky clear and blue with only a wisp or two of cloud. Cool but not cold. In the valleys, dips and dingles below us however, swirling grey mist hugged the contours - indeed as we went down the lane an hour later we could have been entering another world. We left our sunlit uplands and entered Stygian darkness and gloom.......where people were talking about the 'terrible fog'.
And now it's a golden afternoon, glowing in fact. Long shadows are already stretching across the field. There's probably just enough time left before the light drops to shuffle through the leaves in the dingle and take the dogs out onto the field. Boots on. Jacket on. Off I go.....