Saturday, 27 October 2012
A Touch of Winter
It began two evenings ago, gently and slowly, the snowflakes drifting down, touching the ground with white. The following day the storm intensified, driven by a strong north-west wind that brought squalls of dense snow filling the air. The sky was a dark sheet of unbroken grey cloud. Just occasionally between the snow storms a touch of sun would slice through and light up a section of woods or hillside. Then the clouds would close again and snow start to fall again.
I ventured out into the woods and fields, feeling the sharp bite of the wind and the cold stabs of the snow on my face. A buzzard called overhead and a flock of fieldfares, the first I've seen this year, flew low across a windswept field, appropriate on this day for these winter migrants from Scandinavia. Amongst the trees all was quiet with no signs of animal or bird life, not even any tracks. The snow trickled down through the trees, settling on branches and leaves. The golden autumn colours took on a hazy, indistinct appearance, blurred by the falling snow.
Today dawned cold and cloudy with the snow still lying but during the day a slow thaw set in and the wind shifted to the south-west. By dusk drizzle was falling and there was little snow left. The first touch of winter was over.