Welcome, Orion

Taking the pup out every hour into the new garden I came to notice that Orion stood over his pen, night after night, intense in the icy black sky. I'd often wondered why the ancients didn't call it the butterfly, because that is exactly how Orion looks, but standing in the lost space of the night, with the wind growling and the damp, black fens around us, I realised how inappropriate that would be. I looked down at the tiny hunter by my feet, nine weeks old but happy as a wolf in the frost and felt an entirely unexpected connection to the earth and the night.

Welcome, little hunter.



Three Beautiful Things

I'm a long-time follower of Three Beautiful Things, an idea which captures the essence of everything good about the internet. Here is my contribution, hopefully the first of many.

  1. 6.00am, minus ten and counting, with ice crystals like snowflakes an inch long on every leaf and inch of fence, lit by torches, wilting even as I walked past.
  2. The sun breaking through onto the garden with every branch frosted.
  3. A chinese water deer breaking cover in the fen, almost invisible in the frost.

On seeing my own shadow against a fogbank.

Planting fan trained apple trees on a February night, because time had soaked away like too little rain and because of a warm window in a brutal spell, the tiredness and the cold started to take its toll. I looked up. Orion was hard overhead, potent and stalking. Headlights crawled on a distant road, occasionally painting the edges of the sedge by the drain. An animal barked in the fens, like great sparking irons grinding against each other. An owl answered. I looked up again. A bank of fog had rolled to the blackthorns at the field's edge. Against the fog, the cold shadow of a hulking man stood watching, staring back at me as I stared at him until the fog rolled over the fence and he disappeared.

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