Sunday 20 February 2011: Green velvet
Here on the western seaboard of the British Isles the winds blow in from the Atlantic carrying a never-ending cargo of moisture in the form of rain, mist or humidity. The damp is trapped in deep valleys, are only skimmed by the winter sun, creating a paradise for lichen, moss and ferns. Every tree, alive or fallen, every log and stone, is coated with an emerald pelt like this natural bridge over a mountain stream. It's just possible to see a flight of wooden steps, top right, also cushioned with the green stuff.
This was a stage on a woodland walk in the Gwaun valley on an afternoon of mild air and sunlight filtered through light cloud. Spring is somewhere around the corner.