Framed by dark branches
I thought we'd made a mistake today. The fog had cleared suddenly at home, and we looked at the remaining banks lying to the north and south of us and chose to go south, facing the sunset if it should be visible.
It wasn't. Neither was anything else when we set off up the road over the hill towards Loch Striven. We pounded grimly along in a chill dampness, barely able to see beyond the hedge at the roadside, all to aware of our own invisibility to any passing car. When we reached the higher point of the road, it became brighter. There was actually blue in the mist over our heads.
In the hollow beside Knockdow House (now the property of a Russian oligarch, I believe), however, it was once again thick and mysterious. And the fact that there were trees, and the ornamental lake (still frozen), and the broken remains of reeds and waterlilies - all this cheered us up. We took several photos. We listened to the silence. We were briefly startled by some stealthy footsteps and heavy breathing on the other side of a hedge, until we realised it was some young beasts come to look at us.
And the sun did appear, shining briefly on the hillside above us before it set.