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Hard frost on the trees
Notes from a Lancashire Countryman
Fog freezes on every twig transforming bromidic woodlands with its icy grip.The silent black trunks rise out of mysterious shadows. A hoar frost had descended on the crouching thickets, the once muddy tracks bound iron hard, sparkling with frost, there is a strange atmosphere a sense of being alone in this frozen waste.
A few flakes of snow fell, penetrating the cloak of fog, fluttering as they added to the frost sheeted woods. The weak rays of the winter sun could not break through the dense fog that enveloped the countryside.It was impossible to enjoy the panoramic view that brought such joy on clear days, but all was not lost to the lover of nature on this freezing winter foray.
The frost and ice Chrystal's that seem to adorn every living thing made beautiful patterns on any surface it deemed to fall upon. They say a picture says a thousand words, so below I have selected some images that can describe this Lancashire freeze hope you enjoy---
Crisp and crunch
The pathways were crisp and crunched beneath the feet. I noticed ivy berries a good source of nutrition for birds during winter,were also looking icy and uninviting. A lone robin's breast was the only bit of colour in the a naked twigs of a Rowan tree.Hardy old thorns gave an air of permanence among the dank herbage, which wont turn green again until the harbingers of spring push through the leaf litter. The rest of the trees stood in gloomy winter regiment.
The skeletons of Hogweed, their vibrancy long departed gave the impression that they have been frozen in time within their icy prison. On the trunks of the trees mosses, which normally cheer the place they tenant ,with their evergreen cushions,were covered with frost giving the illusion of tiny cotton wool balls, but they are well adapted to withstand the rigours of winter.
The sense of being alone is compounded by the profound silence that freezing fog seems to posses, it seems to smother the sound of life with its heavy cloak. Winter has arrived early this year in the Lancashire countryside and long starlit nights are forecast for the foreseeable future.
The cold hostile environment is something one has to get used to at this time of the year. However, if one is clad in warm clothing, even this environment can yield beauty even if the frost is uncompromising. Mother nature has abandoned her palette of summer colours for the black and white etchings of winter. Once Christmas is over Mother Nature turns her head to spring and once she has done so she never looks back. She may have to bide to her time, but then the shortest day is behind us, and every day that passes from then on will lengthen, slowly but surely to lift the spirits.