Pheasant lies in wait at the top of the drive. He is going to chase off the car that invades his territory most mornings. I think I have driven around him, I look in my wing mirror for his fancy feathers, but somehow I must have missed his flight over into the field, or imagined the bird was there. I’m not that tired, and the frost of the morning has sparkled me into wakefulness, so I am puzzled by this. There is an empty lane reflecting in the car’s looking glass, until I turn to line up for parking. Pheasant reappears, he has run in the blind spot all the way down the track, ruffling his impressive plumage. 
Pheasant remains out of sight while Dog and I walk around the fields. The frost has crept away. Sun comes down and I smell warm earth. I have my winter coat on, but undone. My hands are bare, but hidden inside the coat sleeves. There are still leaves from autumn, slowly trodden into the ground, slowly being absorbed. The earth has a slow metabolism. 


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