Sorry about the terrible headline, I couldn't resist!
I've just been out for an early morning walk with Maddie along the river behind our house. The trees on the crags are a patchwork of autumnal shades and the first morning rays lit the whole scene golden.
Just as I was remarking to Maddie about how pretty it all looked, we saw a Heron circling the field around us. Around and around he went, huge wings stretched out and gliding silently through the air right above our heads.
"Wow!" I said.
"Yum!" Maddie said.
Then he came to settle on the ground right in front of us and watched us watching him. He was beautiful. We sat and looked at each other, not six feet between us, for about half an hour. He had no fear of me or the dog.
Eventually he disappeared back down to the river where his mate was watching too. Had this all been a flirty display to make her fall in love? I think it might have been. But it was wonderful all the same and I feel privileged to have been so close and been a part of their courting.
I never thought I'd be amazed by the nature in my own country, it's so easy to take it for granted when you see it every day, but this was truly awe inducing.
I'm sorry, I don't have a picture of the heron but here's one of Maddie instead.