November is not my favourite month.
The hunt is on every weekend and the ominous crump of guns keeps us out of the forest.
I have bought florescent fleece scarves to mark us out in the gloomy woods and hopefully to prevent us from being shot, but their jarring colour is very unlovely.
When venturing into the edge of the forest ( on none hunting days) there are still a few birds to hear. The high pitched chuffing train call of the tiny goldcrest; the crackle of the mistle thrush; the screeching note of the black woodpecker as it moves from bare winter tree to bare tree.
Beech trees are beautifully monumental denuded of their leaves. Their trunks are smooth and grey, fine limestone pale in the weak light.
On a cut log the tiniest of fungi jelly babies break the surface, nosing up into the damp November air.
The pleasures of November are small .