Friday, November 18, 2005

Frost, squirrels, red leaves

Frost, this morning, covered the hedges, stretches of grass seen from the window and the branches of trees, as though someone had been round with a praint brush.

When I was a nipper I remember having my attention drawn to a red squirrel in the wood at the bottom of our garden in Forest Row. It is a long time since red squirrels have been seen in the south of England, and now we learn that they are at risk in the Lake District and even Scotland, as the imported grey squirrel proves an increasingly succesful competitor. I am sorry about the reds, which are altogether cuter. But I can't help having a soft spot for the greys, when you see one, as I did this afternoon, turning a nut round in its paws and nibbling it, its little jaws pulsating with the effort of chewing.

The sun, from low down in the afternoon sky, catches the remaining leaves on top of a beach tree. They are a rich, dark, glowing red, the same colour as the chrysanthemums, which Heidi bought the other day from the stall by the station.

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