My six-year-old son and I step outside into the last of the chill twilight. With the road and railway silenced in recent days, the rush of the clough streams breathes into the aural space of the valley they tumble into, and the dusk chorus of blackbirds, robins and a male tawny owl from Callis Wood on the opposite hillside is close and clear.
My son spots the only evening commuters on the move, high above us: a last flock of jackdaws, heading to join the rest of their roost-fellows a mile up the valley in the beeches of Common Bank Wood.
The pollen-yellow male catkins on the goat willows that fringe the railway shine in the deepening gloom, and, above the trees’ charcoal silhouettes, Venus and a waxing crescent Moon glow in the amethyst sky.
This is my contribution to the 2020 crowd-sourced spring nature diary of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in partnership with the National Trust and the Land Lines project.