Sunday, 29 November 2009
A Touch of Winter
For the first time this autumn I looked out this morning to see a scattering of snow covering the ground. Most years this happens a month or more earlier but this wet and warm autumn has had little suggestion of winter until recently. Today was definitely wintry though with the temperature hovering around zero and squalls of snow and hail blasting in on a cold north-east wind. Thick clouds lay low over the hills and the sky was dark all day. Walking round the local woods and fields I felt the landscape was on a cusp between autumn and winter. The falling snow melted almost instantly on the trees and the sodden ground, only sticking on drier slopes and low vegetation. But with each shower a little more whiteness crept over the land. At dusk – 3.30 pm at this time of year – the ground began to freeze and there was the familiar and satisfying crunch of frosty ground and refrozen wet snow under my boots. An almost-full moon hung in the sky as the thick clouds parted. For a few minutes a subtle pink with hints of purple suffused the sky but the dense clouds to the west soon blocked the last rays of the sun. I tramped home delighted with this first touch of winter. And the forecast is for more snow.
Photo info: Dusk in Strathspey. Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF-S 18-55 IS lens @ 28mm, 1/20 @ f5.6, ISO 400, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.5