Our Lane has several small areas of woodland; places where the wood is on either side of the lane and the trees almost touch overhead. These places are magical and in a few weeks time the first of them will be thick with common orchids.
But these stretches have also got a hazard as our friend and neighbour, G, found out yesterday as he drove down the lane to the next village of Barden. As he got to the wood a deer ran out in front of him. He managed to stop and the deer stopped and ran back into the woods. G breathed a sigh of relief.
However, at the next patch of woodland he was not so lucky - another deer ran out, straight in front of his vehicle and he had absolutely no chance of missing it. The deer was killed and his car was badly damaged. He wasn't hurt but was sad to have killed such a beautiful animal - and sad to have to foot the bill for what has turned out to be a tremendous amount of damage.
And on the subject of the laws of the countryside and the death o f animals, the farmer saw Blackie, one of our two farm cats, coming up the field this morning dragging a rabbit he had killed, a rabbit as big as he was. So there will be no need to feed the cats tonight, and as we are totally overrun with rabbits it is hard to feel any sadness in its passing. I just hope Blackie killed it quickly and cleanly - cats have such a nasty habit of teasing their prey to death.
There is always death stalking in the country - stoats and weasels, foxes, birds of prey - it has always been the survival of the fittest (and often the cleverest, which I suppose brings in to play the laws of selection - the cleverest breed and thus bring off the cleverest offspring in theory).
April showers are frequent here today - sunshine in between - reasonably warm and the kind of weather that is forecast for the week ahead.