The sun dropped behind the hill and daylight gradually drained away into the west. As I stacked the logs and put away the axe, I listened to the birds singing the sun to bed, the rooks gossiping as they settled in the rookery for the night, the owls greeting each other in the gloaming.
I listened intently to the sounds of oncoming night, smelled the woodsmoke on the breeze, watched the darkening sky.
As a last, tardy wren flitted to her roost, the stars appeared: first bright Venus following the sun, then more and more pinpoints of light like tiny guiding lanterns. Orion was completely visible by the time the birds finally fell silent.
I shut the chickens away and walked back to the house, the comforting glow of light in the porch beckoning me in.
Good hunting, owls.