It was windy and cold. Thick fat drops of rain were splattering my waterproof bag, and I hastily zipped up the flap to the main compartment. I glanced up to see what the dogs were doing and noticed about hundred yards away there was a shape; dog sized, dark brown but only just visible against the green of the grass, moving quickly towards the little wood. Then it stopped as if aware that it was being observed. It was a fox.
It stopped and stared back at me. I had the advantage of binoculars. It was the size of my border collie, reddy brown over most of its body, though its rear end was a little greyer. It seemed well fed and was is no hurry to leave. A vixen or a dog fox? I could not tell.
After a few moments perhaps thoughts of keeping dry being upper most, the fox carried on its journey. But only for a few metres before stopping, sniffing the air, glancing at us and then sitting down.
Actually I think it was doing its toilet but again it watched me unconcerned about my presence or that of my two dogs. We, the intruders into its world clearly posed no immediate threat, even though we were disrupting its routine a little.
The dogs had remained oblivious to the fox. Lilly the Collie was trying to bury her ball and the Gabster, my Romanian rescue was watching me expectantly, hoping for biscuits.
The Fox continued on its way. Paused at the drystone wall, that marks the boundary of the wood for one final glance in our direction, before slipping easily over the jumble of stones and barbed wire and into the wood and out of sight.
I had briefly forgotten the rain and the wind, distracted by the sight of the fox, intrigued by its journey across the field. But now the fox was gone and it was still raining, the wind still blowing, and I had left my raincoat in the car.
I called the dogs, bribed them with treats to follow me back up the hill to the track. As I trudged towards the car, and home and coffee and toast, I thought about the fox, pleased to have seen it and glimpsed a little of its world.