Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Winter Countryside

This is a place of contrasts. A landscape of light and shadow. 

Ice, created in the cold dark hours of the night, still lurks in the shade, certain of its grip only as long as the sun stays away. But light is inexorable; it creeps around corners reaching into the dark places, warming them and banishing the frost. Only the return of night will release it.


The cars have been painted overnight with the lightest of brushes. Intricate patterns of swirling ice leave behind the imprint of ethereal leaves.


Vegetation still standing from summer framed and encased with thousands of droplets of water, frozen in their moment of suspended animation.



The ancient oaks lining the old paths around the fields have more or less dropped their leaves and now stand stark against the skyline, their branches a twisted supplication to the Spirits of the Air for the return of the light and the start of a new season of growth.





Hidden down old Green Lanes walked for centuries and now largely forgotten, tumbled down trees stagger across the paths and offer up their secret bounty of sulphurous mushrooms, the unexpected riot of colour given by way of apology.


Bales of hay left out in the fields since the harvest remain there in long lines, like forgotten sentries.


The thorns in the hedges whisper of their ancient purpose, faint echoes left over from a time when nature's barbs had the job of enclosing animals.


The skies seem somehow larger in winter; a vast acreage enfolding the dormant land.


Deer, disturbed by our presence stand and stare, immobile for a heart beat before the loud hammering of instinct takes over and drives all thought from them. They flee, certain that we mean danger.



Along the hedges, architectural umbellifers offer themselves to the skies, dessicated suggestions of former glory.


And beneath and behind and around it all the Chalk stretches, record of an ancient geology, its layers of time frozen and captured in the crushed skeletons of a million small sea creatures. It rolls out and away, dipping and curling, cradling the winter crops and nursing the few wild things that still live among it, rolling and unrolling, a never-ending landscape as vast as the skies above.


24 comments:

  1. Excellent photographs of the ever changing countryside.

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  2. What lovely photos. The countryside in winter is very special - and I love the hard clarity of the light.

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  3. Beautiful. Love your frosty shots :)

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  4. A lovely post CT, enjoyed it immensely.

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  5. Beautiful post! Lovely photos. :) The frost is fascinating the way it paints the most ordinary things.

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  6. Aah CT,
    Such a beautiful post. We haven't been touched by frost here. I miss that. It's not often we step outside our door and our breath is like wisps of smoke. It must be magical where you live. Heartwarming and cheering. Thank you.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Thank you, Leanne. Have been thinking of you x

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    1. Thank you, Bri. It's sometimes nice to write something a little different x

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  8. Some of your photos remind me of home back here. The hay fields, green, green grass and blue skies. The frozen droplets make for one beautiful photo. Love it. Photos are brilliant. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Fantastic photos and beautiful words to accompany them. The winter landscape is beautiful and I love seeing the shapes of the trees bare of leaves. :-) xx

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    1. Sorry forgot to add that Caroline Flack is my favourite to win on Strictly too! A bit upset last weekend when Jake left though as he was my second favourite and a great dancer.

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    2. I wasn't so keen on Jake. Mark has improved so much and worked his pants off so I admire him for that, but my faves are Flackers to win and Simon for runner up- he's come on leaps and bounds too. What will we do when Strictly finishes? (M is heaving a sigh of relief) :o)

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  10. A lovely post CT - nice to read something a little different. Seems to be going wintry just in time for Christmas :)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x