No one’s quite sure who built the cone spire by the tall bur. Its timber frame appeared one day, as if surveying the lands from this highest point. With each visit, more interwoven branches, added at the expense of sky. Then, deterrence in the form of a locked gate in the perimeter fence. Soon after, adjacent, a low cairn appears. No doubt, then, that this is a place of sadness. Final confirmation comes in the shape of written memorial, a eulogy to a fallen servant. A remembrance in the landscape noticed mainly by crows.


A cyclops-eye in the bare land, the lone copse: tree island. A haven for red deer, or safe enough, except for the eyelid-track that brings walkers and their dogs to the island shore. From below, the isle pierces a horizon of pleasant undulations. From above, its true situation: a lowland rut enveleoped by sometimes-wheat-fields. There best to see frigthened herds bolt south or north for thick hedge and treelines where morning dogs do not go.


Too weak to warm the earth, the now-low sun, powering down for the dark season, illuminates the last leaves side on. Rain of all kinds: sky-suspended, barely falling; rampant deluge; and the common or garden kind, noted only for its frequency. Snow-water, too. Greedily, the ground swallows it all, till full and flooding, and once-familiar ways become sticky traps, catching prints of foot, paw and hoof.


A short drive to a holloway between wild wood and hay meadow where cinnabars play. The wittering of an anxious brook. The tempting suggestion of trail-ways into fallen leaves and young trees. According to the season, we play fairy-seekers or pick blackberries. Or sometimes climb proud bails, lords of the shire.