After a weekend of cyan skies and cotton wool clouds, Sunday gradually clouded over, with a warm stiff breeze stirring the trees in the valley. In the late afternoon I thought I would take a walk up to the new pond I had found last winter and sneak around in the hedgerow to see what was about. I took the widened path up through hanging wood and as I reached the top heard the call of buzzards playing in the blustery wind. They had taken up station in the high trees, occasionally lifting off to circle and tumble.
The pond, unsurprisingly was dry but its sandy banks were now softened by early colonizing plants and grasses. Looking south down the Rib valley a tractor scoured a recently harvested rape field, clouds of dust rising in the wind.
I sat for an hour in the hedgerow, enjoying the sound of the wind in the trees and the gambling buzzards who came quite close overhead, before retracing my steps. As I descended I remembered walking the same way back in the snow, the unleaved tree bows picked out in against the powder snow.
Six months on and the scene was completely different, now a woodland nave dressed in green. Right on cue to complete the summer vista, three badgers crossed the path in line; two adults and a growing youngster.
Having crossed the path they headed out into the bare field, and I took chase, relying on their poor eyesight, my camouflage and the wind direction not to disturb them.
A hundred yards across the field and they separated. I followed the pair, in my mind the mother and cub, as they arced further out into the field and across to the hedge-line to the west.