Saturday, 8 February 2014


Just as I was standing here, loving this ash tree in the foreground, a deer strolled across from the right. She moved slowly into the group of Leylandii conifers you can see at the back there. There are seven or eight trees in an almost circle and they provide a sheltered spot. The Sheep In The Woods is currently in residence, although you wouldn't know it unless I showed you.

This sweet deer was a beauty. We often see them here but today, neither Dooley nor Zoey spotted her or caught her scent so I got to stand and watch her for a few moments before quietly walking off to take the dogs away. It's almost time for me to stop bringing them into these woods. There will be young animals and anxious soon-to-be-mothers here and they need their peace.

We were lucky to be out during a sunny break from the rain. As we headed home we passed a rabbit sitting by a hedge, catching some much-needed warmth. Again the dogs were oblivious but I gently shoo-ed her to safety anyway.

Last night, at 10pm in a dark and windy field, we heard the most unearthly sound coming from the direction of these woods. The winds were strong and yet the cry - mournful and almost human - was loud. The dogs spooked (turns out Staffie X Labradors are big babies). The rooks and jackdaws in Ladies Wood spooked. I spooked. I'm familiar with the voices of most animals here but I'd never heard this before. Common sense says it must have been a deer, but why? In the dark? I'll be listening again tonight. Might have to ask the resident naturalist for his expert opinion. I hate it when that happens.*

*I think, maybe, it was a fox. But if it was, s/he was clearly in a melancholic mood and has had operatic training.



  1. What a beautiful wild place you live in...

  2. Recently, I kept hearing the sound of an animal coming from the woods across the way at the back of our house and I had no idea what it was, it didn't sound anything like I'd heard before. It started way, way off in the distance and over a period of a couple of weeks, slowly got closer until one evening it was Right There, Really Close as I stood on our terrace and I suddenly saw it

  3. Foxes do have an astounding range of calls, and winter is when they freak you out best !