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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Moonshadows and vixens

Last evening, my dh, our youngest and I went for a walk. Because a mist hung in the air, when we started, the light was golden. Then as we tramped up the hill, it became a mixture of moonlight and the reddy glow of the sun, giving a flat painterly quality. Three buzzards played on the wind.
The graveyard of the Old Church appeared hung in strange shadows and our youngest declined to go in.
Later, in the last rays of the sun, a woodcock flew over the road. At first I thought it was a bat, but my dh pointed that no other bird in Britain flies in quite the same way. It was practicing its territorial flight.
We continued on when a strange half human half animal cry rent the silence, echoing across fields. At my startled look, my dh explained it was a vixen calling for her mate and establishing her territory. Both my youngest and I were quite startled. It is quite a keening, mournful sound, not at all like a dog's bark. A cry. Definitely female though. And something that sent a shiver down my back. When the vixen sounded again, I realised that it was also animal and not human, but with the mist showing shifting shapes, I was pleased that my dh knew the exact species. This can be the trouble with having a vivid imagination.
Then as we reached Chesterwood, a golden plover sounded. The call was far more regular. The moonshadows that had started as mere glimmers had become distinct. The stars shone in the black sky as the mist lifted. The walk held a certain timelessness to it.
All of this shows that despite the freezing fog and frozen ground, the animals are stirring and spring can not be far behind.

3 comments:

Kate Hardy said...

Very atmospheric, Michelle. Sent a shiver down my spine (to add to the below-zero temperatures around here).

Margaret Mayo said...

You describe everything so vividly, Michelle. No wonder you're a writer!

Donna Alward said...

Yes indeed - that was lovely.

Am I going to see that in a book soon? LOL