There is something ominous about the phone ringing at 6.30am. Not because it’s too early to form coherent sentences (although it can be a problem), but because 6.30am falls within that bracket of time when no one phones unless there’s a problem. Thankfully it was nothing major, only H letting me know that the pheasant poults had arrived twenty four hours earlier than expected, but ‘Hey Ho’ as B likes to say. By 9am I was watching 160 young birds roaming about the pen, well supplied with food and water. A strange paradox I always think, lavishing care on creatures you eventually intend to shoot.
At the other end of the day B and I met up at Hasleden to walk round the newly mown headlands in search of foxes. There are plenty around and late summer provides an opportunity to thin out the youngsters before they get too wary. From up on the hill I could see beyond the wood which encircles our cottage and the ravishing sun set. The trees deprive us of this sight when we’re at home and I savoured it, scanning the dark streaks of cloud sandwiched with clear skies the shade of cheap Turkish Delight. Over to the west a line of billowing cloud-lets, gilded about their edges by the sunken sun, gleamed with a rich and unearthly luster and I was touched by that feeling of humbling awe which is known by everyone, but still has no name.
Buoyed up by the beautiful evening I thoroughly enjoyed our amble round and just as the darkness was getting the better of our vision I caught sight of an adult fox which B promptly shot with his new .222. Earlier we had seen two roe deer and a stalking session is definitely on the cards.