Post after post and barely a new photograph to be had. Sorry times, but in truth this month of January does not inspire. I look at the camera as I go out and mostly can't be bothered to pick it up, and rarely regret it. Little is emerging in the natural world, and I lack the time or motivation to look further afield. And most of all, the light is dismal just now, rendering the colours of the landscape the shades of brown and green drab which I associate with this time of year and which have little to recommend them. Reason tells me I can't complain, I am thankful for safe roads on dark mornings, and the milder temperatures mean a saving on electricity and firewood. The evenings are perceptibly lighter already, if the mornings aren't, and in fact there are catkins and a few leafbuds here and there, and I have a tentative feeling that perhaps we've come through, and it could have been worse.
But I have so been missing taking pictures, and I was happy yesterday (Wednesday) when the daylight revealed a crisp white frost, and a bright sun just loitering below the horizon, and it wasn't a work morning. So a walk around the garden was called for, in dressing gown with bare feet in plastic sabots, ending in wet hems to pyjama trousers, to catch the moment.
Ice often seems to me like nature making art. Frost suspends everything alike; growth and decay, living and inanimate, are arrested at the same moment, their forms preserved, delineated and enhanced. What appeared to be brown dead matter and other garden rubbish momentarily regained a new and bolder identity, and drew the eye afresh.
Stalks and seedheads,
dead leaves like kraft paper, and hollow spent pods,
all caught and commemorated before they turn to dust and earth again.
(I took a lot of pictures, so I'll put them up in several posts.)