Trees: frost shadows
What a blessed change in the weather this week! Starry, frosty nights give way to blue-sky mornings and bright sunshine. There is warmth in the spring sun now: it will soon put paid to the snowdrops, I think, and has brought the crocuses in to flower (those that have escaped the attentions of the hungry pheasants, at least). On the morning school run, however, the frost is still hard enough for me to have to scrape the ice from the car windscreen; something I’ve barely had to do all winter.
I awoke early this morning, in tears after a vivid nightmare. It was obviously an anxiety dream about my younger son’s coming transition to boarding school. I could rationalise it, but it was one of those dreams whose atmosphere is thickly present in the room even after you wake up. I got out of bed to splash my face with cold water and break the spell. The compensation was that I was able to see the first and best of the bright morning: a woolly blanket of fog lay over the river under the sunlit hill, and the fields were striped with frost shadows. Every bird in the wood was singing.
A little later, at a more civilised time but before the shadows had retreated too far, I took some photos from the bedroom window. In this one you can see the dark bulk of the castle looming towards the lochan, the chimneys like claws on a great bear’s paw almost touching the water:
It was the shadow of a tree which really caught my eye, though. A rather nondescript beech was transformed, by frost and sunlight, into a perfectly shaped leaf skeleton on the new spring grass. Seeing this huge leaf shape thrown across the field raised my spirits again: it seems like a reminder, a promise that there are days of green leaves and sunshine to come.
You might enjoy Oak on a frosty morning.