I have a feeling that we don’t really do mellow fruitfulness in these parts, but on mornings such as this
you just know that it would be sinful not to give the bike a hurl round the lanes. And so it proved; the early mists soon evaporated
leaving one of those days that makes you cherish autumn. The air is crisp, and the sky clear. Sounds travel. Soon the hillsides will be dressed in motley.
Noticeable though was the start of the leaf litter. But it was crinkly and dry. The wet and slippery stuff will be later. For now the slightest of breezes brought more confetti, more autumn leaves, drifting by the window, as someone once sang. And it was a day as mellifluous, as smooth and velvety, as if Nat himself was on that bike.
In the garden the laburnum is yellowing, shedding; and the rowan is heavy with berries, mellow fruitfulness perhaps, bright red as the leaves hold their colour just a bit longer. The chestnut takes on the camouflage of the flak jacket, and the beech gives no hint of the copper, yet. But the silver birch is giving way. The seasons are changing.
And things were happening further afield. Long have I been conscious that these particular acres have been spared the intrusion of the magpie. But they’ve found us now, just a couple. Where will it end?
And there is another stranger in the skies. It lifted from poles twice today as I went past, twice in fact, a mere hundred yards either side of the cottage. Big it is, big and dark. Bigger and darker than the buzzard. You see, we are learning Simon Barnes’ techniques here.
Now I know a buzzard, see them daily. The Urchins can spot then from a distance. This is no buzzard, bigger and darker. And that gets me thinking, pondering even. For bigger and darker the possibilities are not many, not in these parts.
And I recall a chap, not far away, who keeps and flies a few raptors. He had an escapee a year or two back, a golden one apparently. But it wasn’t that big; and I remember a day racing across Mull 11 months ago, with big Mark from the BBC.
So it could have been something resting, whilst released from the gauntlet. Or it could be something else. I’ll watch the skies a bit closer, and I’ll look for any trailing jesses. Bigger and Darker. And magpies too. What is the world coming to?