Friday, 18 November 2011

Autumn Quiet

Walking up the lane after lunch today I was struck by the quiet. It is a still day; all the leaves are stripped from the trees; all that is left in the fields - apart from the odd one or two hardy heifers still out - is sheep and at this time of the year they make little or no noise.

In the bare hedgerows birds flit in and out - maybe a little flock of long-tailed tits working the bushes and twittering between themselves; maybe a cock blackbird sending out his alarm call at our approach. But of the rooks there is no sign today.

A cock pheasant, set up by Tess, flies off into the field with his alarm call. Then silence descends once more. Yesterday, as I drove out of the drive into the lane, fourteen cock pheasants in solemn procession stalked up the lane, followed by two or three hen followers. They stopped when they saw my car. I wasn't away long and as I stood preparing lunch in the kitchen window they stalked down the drive, picked away at debris under the bird table and then wandered off again.

Coming back from our walk Tess's tail began to wag and I knew that she had heard one of the farm cats sitting in the hedge waiting for our return. Sure enough, as we reached him, Blackie marched out in front of us, tail in the air, trying to trip me up, making sure I got the message that he wanted some milk. He knows I am a soft touch.

Our cotoneaster horizontalis is covered in small, beady red berries - they look to me just ripe for the picking. But - like the berries on the top of the holly bush - they will not go yet. They always seem to be left until there is a really cold spell, when they disappear overnight.

13 comments:

bekahjane said...

"Coming back from our walk Tess's tail began to wag and I knew that she had heard one of the farm cats sitting in the hedge waiting for our return." I can just see it! :)

Lovely

Pondside said...

Such a sweet, peaceful post. You take the ordinary walk up the lane to a new level, and you take us with you.

MorningAJ said...

I hope the weather's good this weekend so I can go for a walk. I feel I need a bit of country air and to stretch my legs.

Dartford Warbler said...

I had a quiet walk this morning too. No wind and a still November day out on the heath.

Heather said...

Your words paint a lovely picture Pat. I can just see your farm cat winding round your legs to get your attention. It's odd how the leaves seem to hang on for ages, then suddenly one day they are down. It's been a quiet day here too, a little drizzle, no wind and quite mild - even a glimpse of sun at one point. I must do more in the garden so am hoping for a dry weekend.

Penny said...

Sounds like a lovely walk, farm cats always seem to know where to be at the right time.

Elizabeth said...

Such quiet, lovely, understated prose.
You take us with you on your little wander.
I marvel at the pheasants --would have liked to see them too.

rkbsnana said...

Pondside said it perfectly. A peaceful post. A lovely walk.

Titus said...

Lovely Weaver. My back garden is currently inundated with small birds, and the noise of them flitting, in a flock, from apple tree to hedgerow to rowan and back again is driving the dog mad!

ArtPropelled said...

I feel refreshed after that walk, thank you Pat. I have a very clear picture in my mind of the procession of pheasants stalking down the lane.

Dave King said...

A lovely post. great to read - as ever! Thank you for your writes.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Beautiful Weaver, you transform these dark damp grim days before Christmas into something wonderful.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for your comments - glad you all enjoyed the walk.