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A little winter weather

December 16, 2014

After a mild, dull and exceptionally foggy November, the weather in December has livened up a bit. Thank goodness. The first belated frosts at the beginning of the month made me suddenly realise that Christmas is coming and I’d better start getting organised!

As well as frosts, the past fortnight has brought us sheet ice, gales, mists, sleet, snow…a bit of everything, really: even cold, bright sunshine at last. (I think the sun came out only about twice in the whole of November.) I am enjoying the variety after the monotony of November fog. Here are some photos I’ve taken around the castle grounds in the last couple of weeks, to give you a taste.

 

 

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Beyond the sheep grazing in the sunshine, mist hovers like a ribbon of gauze over the frosty shadows.

 

 

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Fallen leaves bristling with frost in blue winter light.

 

 

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Afternoon moonrise over icy fields.

 

 

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Here’s an example of the strange phenomenon you see on frosty days in the woods: the moisture in a recently fallen branch is squeezed out by freezing conditions, and appears to cover the branch in a coat of icy white fur.

 

 

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First snow on the hills.

 

 

 

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Our resident mute swan found itself with only a puddle of clear water on the frozen lochan last week: the scuff trails show where the swan laboured to take off and land on the slippery ice.

 

 

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Beyond the dead heads of alliums in the garden, afternoon sun catches the turret windows of the castle.

 

 

You might enjoy Frosty morning and some mid-December images from our very snowy winter of 2010, Wintry pleasures.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2014 11:23 pm

    Beautiful, evocative photos. I am especially fond of the branch furred with ice.

  2. December 17, 2014 1:07 am

    Very beautiful. So much more atmosperic than our snow.

    • December 17, 2014 12:02 pm

      To be fair, I guess we have rather less of the stuff than you do – ours comes with novelty value!

  3. Jan permalink
    December 17, 2014 7:38 am

    I live on a tropical island in the pacific ocean. Your pictures are so beautiful, thank you for sharing things I have never seen. They leave me with wonder.

    • December 17, 2014 12:07 pm

      It is a real pleasure to hear that, Jan, thank you. I have never been anywhere in the Pacific – so that is the place of wonder for me! Isn’t it lovely how we can discover a little of other ways of life through blogs. 🙂

  4. December 17, 2014 4:47 pm

    The most remarkable picture. Thought the second one with all the chilly texture would be may favorite, but then came the others.
    I can take just about any weather if the sun is out. Last week we had endless days of sea fog…just makes me sleepy not Christmasy!
    Will the swan eventually migrate or stay all winter?
    Your last picture could be a book cover or movie opening scene – certainly suggests some stories there.
    Merry merry onward!

    • December 21, 2014 11:43 pm

      Sea fog would make me want to hibernate, I think. As for the swan, I think that mute swans are resident in Britain so it will not migrate, but they do travel from place to place depending on weather and feeding conditions. They tend to return to the same place to breed, and I am certain that this one is half of the pair which have been coming and going from our lochan for several years. Last year they raised three cygnets here. I hope the other parent returns eventually.
      Merry merry onward indeed! 😀

  5. Toffeeapple permalink
    December 17, 2014 5:06 pm

    Such lovely images, particularly the furry branch. We seem to have had mostly sunshine here, in middle England and today the temperature went up to 13C. Most disconcerting.

    Enjoy your Yuletide.

  6. hmunro permalink
    December 18, 2014 11:55 pm

    Oh, my! “Afternoon moonrise over icy fields” literally took my breath away. But all of your images are beautiful (that last one, of the castle? *Swoon!*). Thank you for whisking me away from my gray cubicle to this magical place that is Scotland, seen through your eyes.

  7. December 20, 2014 2:54 pm

    Beautiful photos! That ‘furry’ branch is incredible. I haven’t seen anything like that before.

    • December 21, 2014 11:48 pm

      Have you not, Jo? I’d never seen one either until I came here. The first time I saw one, I thought it was some weird fungus. But no, it’s just ice, and you see quite a few little branches like this here on frosty mornings. I always want to stroke the fur – but of course it dissolves at a touch!

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