The weather is quieter this morning, the wind much softened. Light grey clouds ripple across the sky masking a watery sunrise. High above in the tree tops a woodpecker goes to work echoed moments later by another across the wood. The birds stir into chorus again now they no longer need to insulate themselves against the arctic blast.

Otherwise all is quiet. The calves huddle together asleep under the gaze of a hefty bull, squirrels forage in the leaf litter. Between these lethargic movements is stillness, silence.

2018 deer count is now: 2. As the corvids noisily wheeled overhead gathering themselves for bed I caught the faintest hint of movement in my peripheral vision so small I thought it was a rabbit until my brain caught up. Stealthily inching back I got a glimpse of a small deer before it blended seamlessly into its surroundings and scampered off into the gloaming.

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