Long legged shadow

He stands, not only looking but seeing, not only hearing but listening. In this sunken lane enclosed by high banks sound lingers. In Spring it is full of bird song and movement; in winter the winds pluck the trees and hedge and it thrums like a great harp. The tall grass stems, green in this early summer, lean over from each bank, seed-head meeting seed-head softly like hands closing in prayer. Oxeye daisies, Goldilocks, Lady’s Smock, Mouse-ear and Crane’s bill string their bright bunting along the high banks luring hoverflies, bees and butterflies. He sees the tracks which thread through the grass, narrow pathways of those who live by the flanks of the wood. Fox, rabbit, hare and deer, creatures who have the impudence to survive snare and shot, hunting and harrying to steal a living. They and other subversives turn this sunken lane into a republic of outlaws. Feathers from a woodpigeon lie scattered like white petals, tufts of grey fur, randomly scattered hazel nut shells bearing teeth marks of squirrel or woodmouse are all the dark matter of a parallel world going about its own business.