Autumn sharpener

Overnight, hail hit the roof lights like shrapnel. Squalls scudded through the village, driven by a sharp northern wind. Before dawn, at one minute Jupiter glistened in a crystal clear sky, the next another hail-laden cloud rushed in.

Later in the morning, winter visitors in the form of Fieldfares, have arrived in the old Elm hedge. Woodpigeons are battered by the wind and surf ahead of the breeze. The coloured leaves of Ash and Field Maple have been scattered and Hawthorn lay in yellow pools around their mother plant. This is Autumn with a barely concealed shard of Winter.

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