Friday, November 16, 2007 at 4:51PM
Pluvialis and her goshawk have been out enjoying the late autumn sun:
Today I walked up to the crest of a hill on this freezing, smoky afternoon, the whole Cambridgeshire countryside laid out in front in woods and fields and copses beneath us, all bosky and bright with golden sunshine, and I can see that what the gos wants to do is launch a prospecting attack on the hedgerow over the rise. I let her go. Her tactical sense is magnificent. She drops from the fist, and sets off, no higher than a hands-width above the ground, using every inch of the undulating relief as cover, gathering speed until the frosty stubble winks and flashes under her, until she curves over the top of the hill, and then she sets her wings and glides, using gravity and momentum to race downhill, flash up over the top of the hedge in a sudden flowering of cream and white, a good hundred yards away, and then continue down the hedge’s far side, invisible to me. I’m running, all this time, my feet caked with mud, feeling earth-bound but transported at the same time.