SOFT dawn light flickers over the River Devon by Tillicoultry, my mind captured by the incongruous scene of the Sterling furniture store on one side and a pair of grazing roe deer in a field on the other.

People and nature living side-by-side, there is always something appealing about that.

But the roe deer soon slip away into a thick wooded edge, no doubt aware that with the developing day, dog walkers and joggers will soon be about.

I cross the old Red Bridge, inadvertently disturbing a small group of mallards down on the river below, which take to the air in a clatter and wheel away into the distance.

The heady aroma of the river fills my senses and I stand for a while in the hope of spotting an otter.

A forlorn expectation in the end, for they are elusive creatures, but there is other life about, including a busy wren working its way through the tangled roots of a bankside alder.

The long grass is already wilting with the gathering autumn, but the purple flower-spikes of marsh woundwort still hang-on in a final flourish before the first frosts set in.

It seems like only yesterday that these banksides were awash with wood anemones, wild garlic and other spring flowers.

Daylight has now taken hold, so I head for home, the air briefly broken by the ‘ka-raack’ of a heron as it rises from the riverbank ahead of me on lumbering grey wings.

There is a chill in the air, so I take one last look at the flowering woundwort. In a week or two they will be gone, no more than a lingering memory of a summer just past.