Tuesday, 22 December 2009

A day of freezing fog

Last night, the downs in North Hampshire were covered with thick snow. Hundreds of travellers were stranded on ungritted roads and took shelter for the night wherever they could. The hospital in Basingstoke opened up day wards so that staff and visitors could sleep there on whatever beds they could find. Many people took hours to travel two or three miles home.

Here in the south of the county, large, wet flakes of snow fell onto already frozen ground. Snow turned to sleet, then rain, which froze into sheets of ice on fields and Forest. We awoke to a dense white fog rising from the icing-dusted land. I fed the animals outside as the fog began to lift. A quiet world of soft white air.The peace broken by the crunch of my boots across iced grass. The feel of walking on a creme brulee crust which snapped beneath my feet.

Weeping willow and icy grass.

Red hips from a Ballerina rose stand out against the dull colours of frost and fog.

"Where`s my breakfast?"

A stand of poplars emerges from the mist. Dense clumps of mistletoe grow from their central boughs.

Filigree of frost on fennel seed heads.

This oak has been the last to lose its leaves this winter.

" Can you spare us a scrap of hay?"

New Forest mares wait hopefully at the back gate.


Kath said...

Lovely photos, the ponies look well, but they're very tough, the natives. I had a new Forest pony, he was a "Priory" Pony. Keep warm!

Morning's Minion said...

Horses have such beseeching faces--always ready to make us think they are starving.
The oak tree is lovely--I recall how the leaves cling after other trees are long bare.