Monday 6 November 2017

Autumn is fading into Winter

Over Strathspey to the Cairngorms

The nights are frosty now, the moon bright, the stars sharp. On the hills the first snow lies, late this year but more is forecast. October was mild and misty and damp and windy. Not summer but with little feel of winter. That’s changed with the coming of November. The wind is the north now.

Over autumn woods to the Cromdale Hills
Still recovering from the worst cold I’ve had in many years I haven’t yet felt up to climbing to the summits and touching the new snow. I’ve just watched the mountains whiten from afar. I have been out in the local woods and fields though, noticing a nip in the air, air that is crystal clear so distant peaks stand out sharp and distinct. October was soft and hazy. November has started hard and clear.

Castle Grant & distant Sgor Gaoith at dusk
In the woods many trees have lost their leaves, swept away in the last winds of October, and stand stark and bare. For them winter is here. Others though are still in their full autumn glory, brilliant against the greyness of their neighbours. 

Autumn is fading into winter. What sort of winter will it be? We won’t know for several months. Last year it snowed in early November. I climbed Meall a’Bhuachaille in a blizzard on the 4th. But overall the winter that followed was mild and with less snow than most years. For the first time in the near 30 years I’ve lived here I didn’t once go out on skis from the front door. There was never enough snow. Maybe, hopefully, this year will be different. In the meantime let’s enjoy the last colours of autumn.

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous photos Chris; best wishes from mark & helen xxx