It has been a grey, dismal January and cold with it. Not walking or cycling weather really. But when the sun has made a rare appearance, we too have emerged blinking, like pale grubs. Shall we wander down this mossy path and climb up to the fields beyond?
Dazzling blue skies and a trio of buzzards mewling as they surf the thermals. We head towards the estate farm and admire, yet again, the old stone barn which to my mind would make a marvellous studio.
Although the landscape is still bleak, the sun draws out rich hues and the clear, cold air sharpens outlines.
If you look closely, some foliage is 'warming up' as new bark and buds push through and amid the aqua greys and sombre tertiaries, bright mustards and warm pinks glow. Nestling in the roots of the bare hedgerows, tiny snowdrops shudder and tremble in the wind.
It is as if the seasons are poised on a cusp; there is, despite the chill, a feeling of anticipation and hope.