Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crepuscular activities 3

A shape in the road, look through the windscreen with the bins, a beautiful Roe Buck grazing the roadside verge. I draw in and park and he looks and stares, strange, striped face buck. I get out of the car and he stands, stares awhile more and then ignores me, back to grazing, keeping to his business. A Woodcock rodes by and then another rodes around the woods and circles back. And I look back; and the buck stares in the dusk, the buck stares me out. Another Woodcock punctuates the calm, stroboscoped wings flickering against the darkening sky. I roll up the road and the buck finally takes notice and bounds between the pines and away.

Up the road I drink tea and listen in the midge itching gloom. A distant churring, the first Nightjar, ten twenty. The Roe Buck reminds me he's there with a sharp bark, more, staccato. Woodcock again and the last dribbling Robin song. Nightjar flights away to hunt. A last bark. I turn and head back down the road.

Rolling slow and off the road flicks a male Nightjar, white wing patches flashing; moments later he's churring nearby. A flightless Snipe is dazzled in the headlight glare. I leave the car and stand by watching, listening again. Quiet returns.

By the last trees a familiar sound, creaking gate, woodland wader. Two perhaps three young Long-eareds plead for food and every now and then the adult gruffly replies. Eventually I pick out the adult gloomily in the trees and as soon as I do it's off, a pale, fleet ghost away through the pines.

Home; Jupiter rising in the southern sky, three big moons clustered. I close the door and the day is done.

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