I had reasons to smile at first light on this cold winter morning. This old tree is not only a glorious sight at the break of day but standing deadwood is an important habitat for insects and fungi. This attracts birds and mammals.
A sparrowhawk flew with such purpose out of the bare boughs in an acrobatic spin and dive creating comotion amongst the first twittering birds of the day.
I love this time when it is not quite day but also no longer night. As I walked on the sky became a wash of pink and a back drop to a crescent moon and venus. It is a busy time in the woodland while some awaken like the woodland birds who are starting to twitter. Interupted every now and then by a hooting of a tawny owl before he roosts for the day. Deer still feel safe enough to roam in the open and the foxes and badgers are thinking of going to ground. While i am thinking of turning for home to get ready for work.