Coming home. Up the dark ribbon of road, up Marton Mountain. In a bit of a dream, time for bed, thinking of this and that. The car radio gabbles on - news from far away; a prattle of distant, stridant and discordant voices. The night air here is thick and still and calm. Here be peace.
What's that ahead? In the road. Well, it's a living thing - at a distance it might be a farm dog or a badger - or maybe even friend hare.
But no, it's a hen pheasant. She is loathe to move, slightly confused, in the middle of the road. Silly bird. As I approach she flaps into the verge. So far, so ordinary. Then a single newly laid egg rolls away past the car.