Friday 10 February 2012: Scintillating....
Yesterday's talk went well, despite the fact that it started to snow just as I set off for the venue, and continued to snow steadily for much of the evening. I thought the weather might put people off, but there was a good audience, including several old friends that I hadn't seen for quite a awhile. All in all there was a bit of a party atmosphere! My photographs seemed to go down well which is always pleasing and I was given a thank-you bottle of red wine at the end, so that's Sunday sorted out (it seemed too good for mid-week drinking!)
As usual I took Alex to Orton Pit this morning. The access road was quite icy, and I had a rather heated debate with an arrogant young van driver coming in the other direction. He didn't wait in the passing place when he saw me coming, but continued driving straight towards me. I think he expected me to pull over, but there was two inches of snow either side of the narrow track, which could have had mud or ice underneath. I stood my ground and in the end he had to pull over and nearly got stuck, which served him right for being so boorish.
When Alex went off to cut scrub, I went for a walk round the site, tramping through fresh powdery snow that only foxes, rabbits and hares had walked through before me. The density of tracks was quite amazing in some areas, particularly as I had only a fleeting glimpse of a hare during my hour and half of walking. For once the sun was out and the sculptured snow was dazzling, interspersed with the golden tones of reeds and dead grasses, and with a clear blue sky above.
I nearly didn't go into the wood at the southern end, as it looked comparatively shady, but in the end I decided to have a peek. I wasn't disappointed: the lack of wind and the low temperatures meant that each tree and bush was still laden with snow, giving the feel of a magical fairy forest.
The rest of the day was more mundane: shopping at Sainsbury's; collecting Alex at lunchtime; and collecting Chris from the station as he's come home for the weekend. I had another late afternoon walk with Chris, Ben and the dogs and then it was back to cook a special meal to mark Chris's homecoming. We've spent most of the evening chatting, and now I need to head off to bed, but I'll try to catch up a bit with comments tomorrow afternoon, when Chris and Alex will be in London.
(For the record it's -8C outside, the coldest night we've had so far this winter).