I found an hour earlier today to walk around the Reserve.
After yesterday's rain there were fewer mosquitoes to bat away along my chosen route than I'd expected to encounter; maybe they'd already feasted on the baby mink which were out to play, and the muntjac that startled and ran when I disturbed it by the side of the woodland hide.
Smaller birds were invisible but in great voice - I caught myself naming them out loud and sometimes disagreeing. That's definitely a sign that Me, Myself and I were relaxed enough to talk to each other; there hasn't been much time recently to do that, which was one of the reasons for my visit.
This week my head's been filled with Big Ideas about a new writing project which has shut out the kind of normal conversation 'we' usually find time for - you know, all that moment by moment decision making which has to be made, discussed and argued about before even the most inconsequential action can take place. (Oh, you say you don't know...? It must be just 'us', then!)
We also had an internal conversation about whether or not the noise of the Red Arrows flying over the Reserve this afternoon really was as LOUD as it seemed....it was shockingly LOUD, building to a thundering roar as the planes passed overhead. It actually scared me, something which doesn't happen often. Magpies and blackbirds came out from the woods in a frenzy of flapping, and canada geese on the lake started honking quite wildly.
And when they suddenly started up again, I realised that the smaller birds must have stopped singing for those few moments....
With the returning peace, I saw a pair of hairy dragonflies going through their courtship routine among some long grasses, watched a reed bunting reciting his mantra over and over in a hawthorn bush, and glimpsed a grass snake slithering away into the undergrowth a litle distance away from the Quiet Please sign.
Time to take some pictures, we decided.
Greater Spearwort in the dipping pond, a cardinal beetle on a burdock leaf....
.....and dog roses by the Far Hide.