Saturday, December 31, 2016

Air frost at New Year

This is perhaps my tenth New Year post (I've not checked if I did one the first year), it's something of a custom to commit to doing one. I've always been something of a party-pooper about New Year at the best of times, often tending to a Jeremiah-ish mood, and indeed,  these are not the best of times, in many ways, and it's difficult not to feel lugubrious and apprehensive about the year(s) to come, on all kinds of levels from the personal to the global, including the intersection of the two which I feel has a more ominous reality than it has really had for me before. Likewise, on the personal and wider world spheres, this has been a year of shocks and difficulties. We have hopes and dreams of our own, beyond the shock reactions and urges to flight after the fire, which have calmed down somewhat, yet the path to get to them looks sometimes steep, fraught and uncertain.

As often I woke early after sleeping fitfully; my body and its broken thermostat and other inner chemical workings playing tricks on me I could really do without, lay with a lot of rather dreary thoughts and a few more cheerful ones, counted my blessings backwards alphabetically, (one of a number of devices not quite sovereign but sometimes useful against insomnia and anxiety), dozed a little and waited for the late, late daylight.

When it came, action, affection, tea and toast restored my spirits as they usually do, and it brought what seems to have become rare and lovely thing, as well as a heavy mist, a glorious air frost and light of pink and blue and gold, which prompted me to another rather unusual thing these days, to get the camera out,

though these were taken from the comfort and warmth of the kitchen:

But Elfie and I were eager to get out and get sniffing and looking:

The mist came and went and shrunk the world as it does, so the road out of our village disappeared into oblivion:

But this is the weather that Elfie likes, and so do I:

In the frequent fog we've had I've been nervous about letting her off the lead, as her usual running distance would take her out of sight, but on this occasion I did, and she always kept in sight, and seemed to love the crispness underfoot and good smells.

The frost continued to form as we were out, making fine filaments in the fur round her ears,

and at one point I put my hand to my own hair and found it stiff with ice too, yet it turned to wet as soon as we got indoors again, rushing in, in vain, to show Tom the phenomenon.

Many wonderful things have happened to us this year too, as I'm sure they have everywhere. Tonight it will be guinea fowl pie, the last of Christmas dinner, and a dvd, and I imagine we'll be in bed and asleep before midnight.

Happy New Year.


the polish chick said...

ah, i love hoar frost - it graciously lends the world a little bit of magic!

a happy new year to you and tom and elfie! may it be better than the last!

Catalyst said...

You need to get that camera out more often. You have a gift.

Best wishes for the new year to you, Lucy, and to Tom.

marja-leena said...

Such astoundlingly beautiful and magical images! I too love hoar frost, rather rare here. Today it is snowing again after the last snowfall had melted. The mountain passes are dangerous to drive so eldest daughter has had to extend her visit with us, and we also have our eldest granddaughter (from daughter #2) here for a few days as well. We are playing board games and will probably watch a DVD tonight, then to bed before midnight.

Wishing a better and happier New Year to you and Tom!

Sabine said...

Magic. Absolutely magical pictures. Happy new year.

Zhoen said...

Highlighted world, happy dog. You have been through quite a year. May the next one be less dramatic.

Avus said...

I enjoyed your photographic forays into the frosted world, Lucy. I share your concern about letting our dogs off their leads - will they come back? Will they see something small and furry and be gone? I have reached the point where I can manage this with Roxy, but only on a pathway, away from roads, where there are limits to her wandering on both sides. Even then.....

Your local roads look so inviting and "cycleable".

I wish you and Tom well for the coming year.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ach, now I have a hankering to get out and about, too, as the sun has just risen here! These are magical photos on the first day of the year, sweet Lucy! Wishing you and Tom and Elfie much love and magic of the best kind in 2017!

Nimble said...

Thank you for sharing the beauty! May we all find more peace and forward progress in the coming year!

marly said...

Lovely frost-and-mist magic... A good 2017 to you, Lucy--courage!

Mailizhen said...

These photos brought the country back to me, the country of my childhood, that peace and stillness that I craved and still do. Thank you. Feels like balm to my spirit this morning, in these awfully troubled times. Happy New Year. Alison

tristan said...

love these pictures ... happy new year each and all

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Yes, wonderful, painterly photos - I prefer marvelling at these rather than actually being out in the cold. Not being a winter person, cold air seeping into my bones and brain makes my sensitivity to visual glory vanish, or become paralyzed. Back in the warmth, I can appreciate it again.

A very happy New Year to you and Tom, hope we'll meet again in 2017.

Lucy said...

Thanks so much, and for all your good wishes, it really is lovely to see you all, and whatever the coming year brings, your friendship can only make it better.

PC - yes, real winter wonderland stuff, I go about awestruck.

Cat - I like your new photo! I shall try to get the camera out more, it's not so easy with pockets and hands full of gloves and dog leads and treats and clicker and everything, and I often think I've done it all before, but sometimes there's something I regret not having it for.

ML - it seemed some years ago we had a number of 'proper' winters, with snows and frosts and cold snaps; google plus sends me 'relive this day' selections of photos I took in previous years, which are quite interesting. I like this kind of winter weather much more now I don't have to drive out to work in it!

Sabine - thank you, and to you, I hope things go better for you too.

Z - indeed. I wouldn't mind some joyous drama, but who knows, everything seems uncertain. Yet I feel already capable of making more positive plans; we are blessed and lucky really.

Avus - I don't think we'll ever be able to rely on Elfie entirely. The field she's running in here is quite safe and familiar, near to home, only ever pasture and seems not to have too many distractions, and I'm inclined to think that even if she did bugger off completely, at a pinch she'd get home safely. She will still take off after all kinds of furred and feathered things, she pulled a live blackbird out of the ditch opposite the house the other day, and just this afternoon, when I was thinking how marvellous and attentive she was being, took off after a roe deer, across a couple of fields and one small road, quite oblivious to my calls. But she was very pleased to get back to me when she came to her senses, having followed it in a wide arc, finally abandoned the chase and come back parallel to me a couple of fields away. I don't like her persecuting wildlife, and of course don't want her in danger, and yet part of me admires that bit of wildness in her, and I so like getting out into the country and walking again, and having a lively companion to share it with, and the joy when she comes back, which so far she always has. Everyone's telling us she's got fatter but if she is overweight you wouldn't know it when she goes belting off! We never really took to cycling here, I guess because it's always uphill to get home, and there aren't so many interesting places to cycle to really, but with an e-bike it might be better.

R - last day of the old, in fact, the fog descended again on New Year's Day! But a brighter afternoon today, a lovely sunset and a good walk again. Thanks for your wishes, which I return with feeling!

Nimble - thanks, and the same for you and your family.

Marly - thank you, I'll take courage from you!

Alison - thank you, and courage to you too.

Tristan - lovely to see you, thanks for stopping by.

Natalie - one of the benefits of the countryside, I suppose, cold in the city has less to recommend it. I feel alive and energised on bright cold days, less so in when it's foggy and lightless. But I like warmth and comfort all the better after being out in the cold! I hope we'll meet again too, happy New Year to you, whatever it brings.

Pam said...

Beautiful pictures but boy, it looks cold!

Elfie has a very intelligent face, I think.

Happy 2017!

Roderick Robinson said...

You would have thought that snuffling around in frosty grass might have a deleterious effect on Elfie's snuffler, numb it a bit, say. Leading to a lack of enthusiasm for winter. No sign of that I take it?

HKatz said...

Happy New Year. These photos are stunning, and give me a feeling of peace.