I took a different route today on my new "run to Rumbles cafe" route; instead of going along Grange Road, or hugging the path next to the wheat and rape fields at the back of Grange Road, I actually cut across the field along a rough track towards Hawton Village.
This is the second time I've run this route, and as with the first time, I appear to have trodden on some kind of celestial switch somewhere that immediately prompts rain to fall from the sky in drowning quantities.
There's a little dyke running into Hawton Village that presumably runs into the Devon somewhere. I kept my eyes open for as long as I could until they became little optical swimming pools, noticing what may have been a common darter overhead. But as I came to the end of the path, where it met Hawton Road, it was actually below me the aerial action took place. A flash of colour emerged from a tree by the roadside, shot past me, a yin-yang of blue and red, and flew a good 50 metres just above the water before it went out of view.
I love seeing these spectacular waterside dwellers, it is an unusual occurrence for me, living as I do in town. Depending on the light they can look almost stellar, a glowing neon shape that barely looks like a bird. But today, it looked like an illustration, an "Observer's Guide" plate made real, as it flew by.
It made my day, a day when the joy of still seeing swifts over Newark was cooled by the fact that that may have been the last time for the year.