A pair of ravens fly back across the valley, their bills empty, testimony to the bravery of the adult lapwings defending their chicks up on the killing fields. But raven chicks have to eat too.
A Thrush drops onto one of the posts ten metres in front of me. She sits there with a beak full of insects that hang limply from both sides. Is she resting? Or is she waiting for me to move so that she can dart to her nest, keeping it safe from prying eyes?
I turn to go and the first of the mornings runners huffs and puffs towards me trailing his reluctant dog behind him. As he reaches me he greets me and gasping for breath asks me ‘if I am all right?’
I say I am but then add ‘but are you?’ and inject an element of concern and disbelief into the end of the sentence. He nods, shedding beads of sweat as he does so and continues along the path.
The thrush has gone.
The dog jogs past me, and stops briefly to glance down at Lilly the Collie paddling in the stream below. The dog seems to sigh. He looks lovingly at a patch of grass, and wonders what messages are waiting in the smells and scents hidden among the leaves and stems. A voice cuts through his thoughts, calling him on. Reluctantly he trots after his master.
I give Lilly the Collie a meaningful look. There you see, it could be worse, I could be jogger, I tell her with a glance. She ignores me and picking up her plastic stick squeezes it to make it squeak and then drops it meaningfully back into the stream.
Time to go home I think.