Autumn walking

Just up this half-term. Wild and windy. Jasper our longlegged setter pointer took off into the hills and I followed him. I was alone and as the dark clouds rolled over, I felt a peeling back of normal life.   I sat down in the sprung heather, all turning gold and dark red now.  A turfy ovehang shielded me from the strongest gusts of offshore wind, the ocean was misted, steely and forbidding.

I was way above the dog and watched him – view unimpeded – course across the landscape. He was covering miles – a single black streak slipping across the open ground, leaping in the bracken, then tracing his way, almost liquid, up the darkened stream beds. There were snipe and maybe the rare red partridge around, but all he lifted was a chough, that rose and banked and rode a buffeting wind-surf over the cliffs.

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