Tuesday 12 December 2017

In the frozen forest

A slight thaw and then a hard frost and the soft, deep, unconsolidated snow has packed down, losing some of its sparkle and becoming crunchy underfoot.

A walk in the local woods was magical with the frost and refrozen snow clinging to branches and twigs, sometimes bowing the trees down. On the ground a network of tracks - fox, rabbit, red squirrel, roe deer, pheasant - showed that the forest creatures had been out despite the bitter cold, seeking for essential food.

There was no sign of any animal or bird as we crunched through the snow, our loud steps warning of our presence. Some of the tracks were fresh though, the makers probably just around a corner or watching from deep in the trees. When we stopped to look at the frozen trees the silence was intense. Absolute quiet.

As light began to fade we turned for home, heading for warmth and brightness, a blazing fire and a hot drink. Out in the woods the animals and birds would be trying to survive through another freezing night.

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