There are few things in life that can compare with an autumn stroll in the countryside in that magical hour just before sunset. Yesterday I set off in the late afternoon as the sun was dropping low in the sky and throwing long shadows over the grass. For me it's an unusual thing to go for a stroll on my own. Normally I have Emi in tow and the Wonderdog at my heels, but Emi was busy doing his history project, and the Wonderdog was busy having an afternoon snooze along the back of the sofa. He was stretched out with his paws in the air, snoring gently as though he hadn't a care, and it didn't seem fair to disturb him.
So I set off on my own with only the birds for company. And right now we have some very fine birds running around under the trees.
The pheasants really are rather fabulous, and there are dozens of them running through the grass, and roosting on the garden walls.
And if you stand quietly you can watch them pecking around for their supper. I'm always amazed by how they prefer to run rather than fly. If I had wings, and could soar above the grass, I don't think I'd ever bother to walk. I'd fly way up high on the warm thermals for a better view of autumn's glorious apparel.
Of course I'd be tempted by all those wonderful beech leaves lying around on the ground. Sometimes it's the simplest of pleasures that trumps everything; and there's a lot to be said for scrunching through freshly fallen beech leaves before they go all soggy in the rain.
All the best for now,