The case of the twitching leaf

fox cub

The leaf twitches. There are plenty of moving leaves in this thicket just a few yards from my home. A dense jungle of ivy and bramble, cow parsley, willowherb and fallen branches that adorns the bases of some tall ash trees, it’s alive with movement from a gusting breeze that is moving occasional teased-out-cotton clouds above me and bringing the temperature down from hot to mild. The flat white flower heads of the cow parsley jiggle, the ivy leaves flutter.

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On the naming of pubs

Red fox vixen

When I was a child there was a pub near our home called the “Fox and Elm”. It had an elm tree outside, with a rather unconvincing plastic fox in it. Dutch Elm disease did for the tree, and I never found out what happened to the fox, but both were gone after a few years. But the practice of naming pubs after animals is common. ‘The Swan’ is England’s fifth most popular pub name, while ‘The Fox’ comes in

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The corpse in the copse.

dead shrew

The topsy-turvy weather of late is reflected all around me. In some places the blackthorn is still flowering, in others drift of soft pink petals look like the late snowfalls that keep happening. Yesterday I took my coat off, put my coat on, took my coat off in a regular cycle as we veered from warm and sunny, to frigid winds and sleety showers. At one point hail lay sparkling on roads turned to sugar. Today feels like more of

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