The perfection of silence

female barn owl

It felt like a church service. A small group of a dozen people, strung out along a length of drystone wall, staring at a field. At first, there was talk. Hushed, low tones, respectful. The late afternoon sun came and went behind a screen of clouds, and on this mid-April day, and coats were zipped and unzipped as the temperature went from warm to cool and back again. From a small stand of hawthorns, birdsong trickled out – a charm

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