The Tuesday tree: a bit of the white stuff
Glancing back at my posts from this time last year, I can hardly believe we are in the same season. Instead of temperatures hovering around minus ten Celsius or lower (in Fahrenheit that’s, erm, well, pretty damn cold anyway) we have a continuation of our soggy autumn, with the mercury dropping below zero only occasionally. Instead of gloriously deep, pristine snow, we have sleet, then rain, then maybe a frost to make the wet roads skiddy, then a wee bit more sleet… In fact, the weather this year has been like my mood this year: the odd bright moment, but mostly just a bit ‘meh’. At least last winter’s challenges gave us something to get our teeth into.
Still, winter’s not over yet by a long shot. Be careful what you wish for, as the saying goes! And this week has brought just enough of the white stuff to kindle a spark of festive spirit in my usually enthusiastic heart. A heavy frost at the weekend made all the trees feathery white and sparkling. Then yesterday morning brought long snow showers,
which didn’t amount to a great deal, but gave us enough snow for my elder son (on holiday already) to go sledging down the handy little slope in the garden. In the woods there isn’t much snow cover, but what I noticed was the way the dusting of white picked out the shapes of different roots, from the sinuous thuyas,
to the knobbly Douglas firs.
I like the way a little snow highlights the branches too, whether they are the feathery fronds of the Douglases,
or the bare limbs of the oak that curves protectively over our icy lochan, where ‘our’ pair of wild swans are swimming in an ever smaller patch of open water.
So you see, there are still plenty of beautiful trees to lift the spirits, even as the foresters are hard at work clearing away the remains of those that fell in the storm. And in the afternoon yesterday, the snow and sleet showers finally lifted, leaving us the gift of a spectacular sunset just in time for the school run.
These short midwinter days of silver, white and gold are one of the finest gifts of the season.
You might enjoy a post from last December, celebrating Wintry pleasures.