The rooks returned on Friday. Having been aware of them consistently in small numbers in recent months, alongside the ever present carrion crows and jackdaws, I was alerted by the emotive cawing of a large flock for the first time as they massed around our house assembling at about 7pm to roost in the big trees next to the butchers. I wasn't particularly aware of their absence until they returned to these trees and suddenly the character of the local landscape changes again as we take the steady steps into autumn.
As a family, with Hamish and Tori visiting, we cycled and skated around the village this afternoon with baskets and jars collecting blackberries for pies. We returned from Whitley Lane with several pounds of over-ripe fruit, although just as many disappeared into the hungry purple stained mouths of my children. We then sat in the garden enjoying the late afternoon sunshine in the wood smoke of a dying BBQ and watched the huge numbers of red admiral butterflies feeding on the slushy fallen pears beneath the wind blown trees after a week of rainy weather.