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This report is taken from PN Review 158, Volume 30 Number 6, July - August 2004.

From a Journal R.F. Langley

6 July 2002

Another evening when the rain has gone and the wind is stilled and all the prickles and blades and stems and twigs and shafts and flags are motionless. As light fails, the overgrown field, across which we go to get to the stile leading into the Mumberry Hills, becomes a quiet blue mist, which is all the speedwell, thick as a crop, with floating white peppering it, which is the campion. Two red deer, not antlered, wade out in the centre, perk up and face us, when they see us coming, and bustle away, this way and that, uncertain that they want to go into cover. Dozens of rabbits suddenly flood across the path. Over the gorse, big beetles drone heavily, five or six of them, one of which I catch in my hand, snatching above my head. It is a summer chafer, with a greasy shine on its elytra, and mottled darker patches on its thorax. Black eyes and black cap to its head. We arrive at the usual spot, facing the two birch bushes which stand out a little into the open heath to the west, and we wait, in a silence where our own stomachs make the most noise.

A nightjar strikes up a churr which lasts for a long time. So they are nearby. It is about ten o' clock. The sky is not blue tonight, nor are there stars or moon. Dabs of dark cloud are ...


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