In the middle of the morning, hoar frost still clung to leaf and bracken frond as we set off for a walk around the hill.
The bird bath, in a shaded corner of the garden, was still a solid disc of ice.
Out on the heath, the thaw had begun, but shadowed bracken still crunched frozen underfoot.
I found the old hidden clump of mistletoe in a hawthorn tree.
A group of ponies breakfasted on young gorse shoots.
The uphill lane was shaded. Puddles were criss-crossed with shafts of ice.
From the hilltop, mist rose from the wet, thawing heath and the lane snaked away towards the village road.
A little band of young Forest ponies rested in a sunny spot. One of them stood beside her companions, alert and on the lookout. The others dozed in the quiet morning at the edge of the wood.