Autumn maybe punctuated by the slight somewhat shy singing of the robin, just daring to string along a few notes safe in his soliloquy. “Its quite daunting having the garden stage all to myself”. It drifts in, drifts out as you go about your digging and raking of leaves. But for me it is the end of November when the true Winter’s evening sounds tells me the seasons have changed.
I try to shut the chickens before its completely dark at that magical gloaming point, still light in the Western sky, but the now bare trees stretching from an ever-darkening Earth, like Thomas Berwick woodcuts. Venus will soon be ablaze, the grass crunching underfoot and the blatant blackbirds demanding attention from someone who, why? I do not know, but I hear them chink, chink chinking to their roosts. Its in your face and alive and sharp, I imagine its our own native birds working out how to spend their roost with the arrival of our Winter migrants from where I do not know, Scotland, Scandinavia maybe?
Every Winter we have an influx of about half a dozen birds. And as I walk towards the back door that other early Winter demonstration of sound the Tawny owl with the male’s drawn out hoot followed by the “Kerwick “ of his mate saying I am here across the valley “Good vole hunting tonight”.
Just time to bring another wheelbarrow of compost up to the vegetable garden, most of the beds now covered in their blanket, food for the worms, in turn food for the blackbirds and most importantly for the soil and next year’s crops. I Open the back door lock behind and my simple shutting of the chickens is a master class of delight.