Friday, 26 December 2014

A Frosty Christmas Day Stroll

Across the mist to the Cromdale Hills

Christmas Day has been quiet and cold with mist filling the valleys and frost coating the ground. Early afternoon saw a few hours of sunshine on the slopes above Strathspey. Underfoot the ground, frozen and white, crunched with every step. Puddles were frozen. Gates and stiles slippery with ice. The glare of the bright sun hid the high Cairngorms to the south. Across shrouded Strathspey the Cromdale Hills rose into a blue sky. Drifting cloud came and went over the summits. The mist rose and fell, at times threatening to envelop us. A buzzard flapped lethargically from a fence post as we approached, soon settling again a few hundred yards further on. In the field it was watching rabbits ploughed dark trails through the frosted grass.
 
Remants of the last snowfall

The woods were dark. We peered in but stayed out in the fields, in the sunshine. There would be other days for exploring the sombre winter forest. Today the sun was welcome though there was no warmth in the brightness. In areas shaded from the south-westerly winds and rain that brought the big thaw last week crisp snow still covered the ground.
  
The mist rises

As we turned for home the mist was thickening below and starting to rise up the hillsides. Soon after we were inside and warm with hot drinks in front of the fire it surrounded the house. Just a few hours of sunshine then. But a lovely few hours.

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