Seasonal greetings from the Cotswolds to all! Great Britain is undergoing it's coldest winter since records began in the 1890's and here in our patch we have had even worse snow than last January. On Christmas Day we set off for a morning walk around the fields, before everyone else emerged after lunch.
A little brook, half frozen at the edges, but still sluggishly trickling towards a larger tributary of the Evenlode river, a couple of miles away.
The most familiar of paths are transformed -
- and the broad fields are pristine, save for the meandering tracks of wild creatures. The horizon is softened by an icy haze.
The dullest of dead vegetation metamorphosis's into ice sculptures -
- and the stark, sleeping trees appear sepia-black against the sky.
The horse chestnut avenue leading towards the farm -
- and my favourite line of trees looking delicately skeletal; in summer it is a plump lushness of greenery, as seen here.
A welcome stretch of cleared road and the rare sight of tarmac.
To the right of the tree line, the big house seen from the side.
As we come off the road and turn back into farmland, the snow becomes deeper and completely unsullied, undulating over the ploughed trenches like a white desert.
Looking back to see the deep path we have trodden; it was only a few months ago that I was walking here on cracked, baked earth, brushing through chest high wheat, the sun hot on my back, feeling slightly spooked by the whispering of the dried corn heads.
Wait for me Andy - I'm still taking photos!
Time to head home - the village is but a few minutes away, through the hole in the hedge - there is the church and spire beyond, just seen through the freezing mist.
Winding tracks in the snow, where the allotments have been a larder for the rabbits and hares - and goodness knows they need it. Next week the temperatures rise and we will have rain. Despite the stunning beauty of the snow, I think animals, birds and humans will breath a collective sigh of relief as life gets back to normal.