oaks

Cold (-6C). The wind drives pin-pricks of snow against my cheek. I squint at the sun through bare oak branches. It’s good to be back.

After a night of high winds, the lilac is more threadbare than ever, and in the crowns of the oaks, only the odd clot of a drey remains.

Warm morning after a cold night, and the oaks are shedding leaves: a dry sound as they hit lower branches, like the ticking of many clocks.

The sun blazes through the orange crown of an oak. High up in the cloudless sky, a sleek F-16 trailed by its slow, over-sized roar.

Oaks sway in the wind, their leaves gleaming in the strong sunlight. Acorns rattle down. A snatch of migrant birdsong I can’t quite place.

Trembling in the top of an oak where a squirrel gathers green acorns. Blurry shadows from a sun shining through cloud. A cuckoo’s soft call.

A hollow oak dead for 30 years has finally collapsed, its fragments piled next to the stump like abandoned clothes. The first few raindrops.