Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 7 October 1916

Surrey, October 5
A warm sun, as of the latter days of August, broke through this morning and brought summer along the hedgerows. Almost before the dew had dried, a dragon-fly, green and gold, was searching over the tops of the bushes, where almost innumerable insects were on the wing, appearing suddenly as if from nowhere. Thrushes had been singing, but not loudly, for a long while, but they stopped just as a few larks rose out of the meadow and were heard above, although you could not see them for the strong light of the sun. Presently there were noises in the grass, just audible, less than a rustle, but enough to speak of life; a grasshopper leapt over a stray dandelion feather-bloom caught in a piece of thistle which the wind last night had tossed from the ditch bank. On the underside of a bramble-leaf, which was tinted beautifully in the clear light, a ladycow was crawling: all nature was alive.

Across in the stubble a pair-horse, light-soil plough was at work, with a young woman in the thills; the newly sheared earth turned from above the chalk gave out a faint, but fresh smell which was like a tonic to the sense; a flock of grey pigeons came sailing from the far corner of the field, and went straight and true into the oak wood among the acorns; the rooks were flying higher backward and forward, as though in sheer pleasure at being on the wing, yet always moving a little farther towards the west until they disappeared. By noon all was quiet. The hedge fruit was ripening; you could fix on nothing else for the red glory of the haws, which clothed all the thorns and seemed even to colour the nearer air.

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Source: Guardian Environment