I do practical and pragmatic things - I tip the hens' old water down a rat hole (remembering too late and with a gulp that those pesky rats might have feelings too). I shoo those birds inclined to spend the night in the comfy nest box up onto their perches. I slide doors, drop pop-holes and flick the switch of the electric fence to 'on'. I hope to keep any sharp-toothed and clawed predator away tonight at least, as always.
Hens in, job done, I stand a while and rub my hands to restore a little feeling - perhaps to remind myself that they are still there. How cold it is tonight. How good to feel the ground hard underfoot. The temperature has not risen above zero today.
In the west, low on the horizon - and so slim that it could easily be missed - is a crescent moon. It hangs sketchily - as if some calligraphic hand had flicked it in with a confident stroke of the pen; silver on a ground of deepest blue. Pretty little cushions of pink clouds organise themselves - but not for snow I think, even on this cold night. Just for delight.