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As the Crow Flies

Sunday, 3rd November 2002, West Yorkshire

crowsparrowhawkA crow bursts up between the branches of an ash apparently flying sideways and vertically, as if Frisbee'd into the air by a sudden gust of wind. It's had a narrow escape; a sparrowhawk, head down, fast and determined, zips through below it a second later.

We've come out only for a dozen eggs from the farm but it's such a pleasant afternoon that we decide to meander tansyover to the canal. The odd plants of tansy, dandelion, groundsel and sow-thistle, all members of the daisy family, are still in flower.

As we loop back towards the poultry farm we're tempted to go a fifty yards further to call at our local camping store, Mitchells, which, conveniently for us, happens to be our nearest large shop, less than ten minutes walk from our front door. They've just revamped the place and it's such a pleasure to browse around and pick up gloves, hats and thermal trousers in preparation for our winter walks. I'm so glad we don't have to make our way into a city or shopping mall to pick up our outdoor gear.anvil-topped cloud

Those dozen eggs have proved expensive.

Huge anvil-topped storm drift over from west to east. The low afternoon sun catches them, tinting them pale cream with dove grey shadows. There's something theatrical about this powerful storm system just hanging there silently, as if it was a painted sky in a Renaissance page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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