Sunday, 28 November 2010

Winter Woods: The Blizzard

With the deer spooked and running for miles I take another turn and decide to try a cover several miles away across open farmland. The sky is looming and threatening, changing from an almost tropical blue with wispy thin clouds to a dark threatening black. Out in the open the cold is sharp and painful. High in the sky a crow mobs a kestrel, which turns and flicks it’s talons at the insolent attacker. The kestrel is half the size of the crows and obviously a bird of stronger will. It will not be put off and continues to try to hover above the snowbound field but a second crow joins the game and the kestrel is unable to hunt, it swoops away – flying in seconds a distance that will take me half an hour to cover. Satisfied at the outcome the crows swirl and circle over the winter fields, flying low and calling to each other. The open fields are no place to be caught in the teeth of a snow storm so I make for the cover of a small spruce plantation. Here, amongst the blue barrels of corn raised on their wooden tripods and the croaking calls of game birds I wait it out.

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