Friday, 12 August 2016

The Return Visit

It had been a couple of weeks since I last saw these chaps and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get close. It was difficult to start with but eventually this young lad came to say hello, although he kept his distance while we played a game of ‘food or pebble’. It didn’t take him long to realize that I had no food and pebbles are no real fun, but he let me play on until he got bored. He left, to be replaced by his smaller sister and the game resumed. Tonight's encounter didn't last long, they are wary of people (which is good) and the slightest movement makes them jump, but just being in their company for half an hour was a privilege. This will probably be my last visit until next year and the next generation of Family Fox, but that seems so far away.

The walk back from Family Fox was quiet and still with just the sound of Rabbits in the undergrowth. I was into the woods as darkness fell: the world became shadows instead of trees and the familiar sounds of the day turned into more sinister sounds of the night. The creaks and squeaks that I know are Sika become almost otherworldly, the rustle of a Badger as it plods through the leaves can easily turn into footsteps. Footsteps belonging to who? Well, that doesn’t matter, darkness can play tricks as your senses heighten.
Through the woods and stars once again replaced the canopy of leaves, shadows moved away to a safer distance and the evening seems a lot lighter than it should be. A very young Roe Deer appeared, momentarily frozen in the gloom, before a few well timed jumps put her close to her mum again: she gave me one of those looks that only a mother can give.
The Sun setting below the hills called an end to another evening in the company of the finest the Isle of Purbeck can offer.


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