I’m listening to the evensong of two cock blackbirds. Each trying to replicate the others call. A gorgeous sonic battle in which there will be no winner but the listener. This, on day when the grey storm clouds have circled but haven’t hovered overhead. A day when I chanced on a local landowner with ‘a … Continue reading A Good Day
It was a splendid morning to be walking the wood with a gun and a camera. Predicted by the weather oracle to be the last day of Mediterranean warmth for a while, I was determined to get some miles under my belt. The rain has been long-awaited, particularly by my farming friends. Their concern was … Continue reading The Owl and The Jackdaw
During the first phase of 'Lockdown' I missed my patrols around the naturalists paradise that is my shooting permission. A mixture of woodland, arable land and livestock farming. The first sensory delight to greet me on my return to the wood was ‘the orchestra’. I stepped into the ride beneath a verdant canopy illuminated with … Continue reading Squirrels and Jackdaws: A Return From Lockdown
The easing of lockdown restrictions this week has lifted my spirits enormously. As it has yours, I’m sure? A tentative call to ‘Landowner No 1’ to ask if I was welcome back yet, resulted in more than a positive response. I was virtually begged to return to take care of ‘those pesky squirrels’. A request I’m … Continue reading Hunter’s Musk: The Scent Of Gun Oil
For a habitual wanderer, confinement to the proximity of my home could have been hell. I’m glad to say it’s proved otherwise. The order to “stay close to home, don’t get too close to strangers and be home before dark” isn’t new to most of us. These were the instructions given to me as a … Continue reading The Lockdown Wanderer
Is there anything more calming than the gentle patter of rain? The flautist on the branch had heralded the downpour with his trill repertoire. The cock blackbird is rarely wrong when it comes to forecasting precipitation. As the gun-metal grey clouds rolled across, I donned my wet gear and slipped a leash on Charlie the … Continue reading It’s life, Captain … but not as we know it !
20th April 2020 Dear Lady Amelia, First of all, apologies for the apparently impersonal letter. I’m proficient on my PC but my hand-writing is appalling nowadays! I hope this letter will find you fit and well in this strangest of times. I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I … Continue reading Lockdown Letter to a Landowner
Those of you who read Part 1 will know that Charlie (our OCD cocker spaniel) found that the UK Lockdown coincided with some serious landscaping of his humble jungle and hallowed hunting ground. We’re only talking an overgrown shrubbery but the fall-out was a huge event for the ‘dog who never obeys’. Not only had … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown: Part 2
Charlie the Cocker has always been a bit OCD. Change (no matter how minor) disturbs him to the point of distress. His bed has to be in the right place. Feeding times must be rigid and we get a wet-nose poke if we forget it’s supper time. His walk ‘around the block’ on work days … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown
The call of the gun was strong on this gorgeous Spring morning. After a week of working from home (in self-isolation) I was desperate for fresh air, yet I realised that my wife must be feeling the same. I suggested one of our favourite walks, from Strumpshaw out to Buckenham Mill and back. Old Charlie … Continue reading Another Shot Buzzard ??