It feels strange to be so conscious of the summer passing. Tonight was glorious, with light that could only be late summer sun. Everything shone deeper, stronger, brighter, with crispy dark edging: the beech leaves carpeting the woody climb, the rays shining through the grass and glancing off the backs of the cattle , who were having their last munches before bed.

I was in a world of my own until a crash and a falling rustle stopped me still. So close, ridiculous, staring like my reflection was a muntjac. After a while, he decided to wash, licking his back, checking on me, licking his back, checking – yup; still there. Some hearty men came gallumping down the hill – but nope, we kept on as we were, licking, watching, stopping and staring. This went on easily for more than twenty minutes, with very little movement from the first spot. Then, what was obviously going to be the last bit of eye contact, me standing like a nutter, head cocked, and off we went.

Two minutes later, I turned, to look back.

Three giant puffs of colour lay like fungi on the scenery….hot air balloons about to take off! They grew, and then the first slowly flew. Then the second and third together, after a wait. Over the spires and the hills, as though brushing the tree tops, one skirting round rather than over, lacking enough early heat, but finally, all three were gone, and it was back to the golden light of autumn.

Hope you’re all squeezing out the last drops while you can!

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