Tuesday, 19 January 2010

No time for a walk.....

Yesterday, just before dusk, a dense white fog descended on the Forest. I drove home with fog lamps lit , seeing just a few metres in front of the car and crawling at low speeds in case a pony or a cow wandered across the road unseen.

This morning, fog still covered the land,until the wintery sun began to burn through and wind from the south lifted wraiths of mist up into the sky and away from the snowmelt-sodden heath and Forest.

Fog clouds rising as the wetness of the land gradually evaporates away.

Sun through the fog banks above distant pinewoods.

Today I had no time to stop and walk, but I did pass by the stream at Wootton Bridge on my way through the Forest. The narrow road across the bridge and the hill beyond have been closed for over a week. Thick ice, from frozen water draining off the woodland verges, coated the long hill. On the first day of the freeze, cars were skidding and sliding into trees, into the ditches, through the bridge into the stream and into each other. By evening, "Road Closed" notices were in place.

The stream at Wootton Bridge was deserted today, but in the summer it is a popular place for families to picnic and for children to play in the shallows. Old trees leaning over the water are perfect for clambering over and a rope swing invites adventurous play. A stream that echoes with the splashings and excited voices of generations of children who have loved this place.

Muted browns across the heath towards Holmsley.

The lane at Wootton Bridge.

Streamside grassland still saturated with melt-water from the recent snow.

Delicate purple-red branches of young silver birches against a grey sky.

Old lichens on branches dipping down towards the stream

Later in the day, a strange, flattened image of the sun setting behind oak woods.

Dusk falls again and the temperature drops under a pastel winter sky. We may have more snow tomorrow.


Morning's Minion said...

Where ever I have lived I have welcomed signs of winter's grip easing. It does seem that before it can be warm and spring-like, there are the soggy, foggy, uninspiring spells of weather. It sounds like hazardous driving and more danger for the Forest ponies. A good time to stay at home whenever possible.

Kath said...

Reading this has reminded me how, one very dry summer,we were holidaying near Fordingbridge and my 3 year old son fell into a dried up river bed and broke his arm! I had forgotten about that until I was reading your post.

Bovey Belle said...

I don't know why, but as I looked at these pictures (why these, rather than any others you have posted?) I suddenly felt so homesick and my eyes pricked with tears! Silly moo! I think it was the silver birches that did it : ) Reminded me of many a walk.

Dartford Warbler said...

MM - Yes, it is dull and grey here and SO wet underfoot. But - the days are growing longer so spring cannot be far behind.

Goodness Kath, I wonder if you had a picnic by this stream? I have certainly heard of children falling out of trees and breaking bones here.

BB - you will have to come back for a few days....I bet you used to have picnics with your Mum and Dad at Wootton Bridge. It is somewhere that everyone comes to when their children are young. My two boys loved the stream and the trees.