Shower the world…

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There’s a Tori Amos song that tells us to shower the world in pink and glitter, and that’s exactly what the weather gods are doing here. Every day is like a study in pink. The sun just barely makes it over the horizon for a short time between ten and two, but the reward is that every hour is golden.

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Frozen beard lichen hangs from every pine tree bough. The rising sun filters through the needles.

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It’s just cold enough to freeze the droplets but not enough to melt them. Absolutely wonderful. Some of them look like Christmas tree decorations where they hang in the fir branches. I went a little crazy with the camera when I saw it, so bear with me… ๐Ÿ™‚

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But I must admit I was glad that there was a kettle to switch on when I got home, because the cold tends to creep into your very marrow. It’s beautiful but not harmless, you know? And maybe that’s part of the charm: a terrible beauty that you must watch from a distance in order not to get hurt. Look but don’t touch. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Morning sparkle

We finally had a morning of sunlight and frost again, and although I’ve got a cold that makes my throat feel like a razor-legged scarab is trying to claw itself out, I went for my usual walk. The hedgerows were awash with glitter and gold.

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Overblown beaked parsley stretching its crown like tiny hands towards the sun. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Or balancing the golden ball on its fingertips.

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Everything leaning into the light. Me included.

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Shades of winter

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Grey, grey, grey. We’re living in a black and white movie.

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The sky is overcast and it never really feels like we have daylight. Kind of like Mordor – but nicer!

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Because since we finally have a layer of snow, the world is brighter than before. It makes such a difference. The deleafed trees tower over me as I take my usual walk through the woods. Tall and slim, they resemble the grass in the hedgerow, only a lot bigger.

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Twigs and branches are laden with snow, and the ice is slowly covering the lakes and streams, inching a little further over the surface each night.

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More ice

Ah, the glitter and crunch of an early morning walk in the woods! We’re being warned that this winter will be cold, and I welcome it after the last three or four ones which were dismal. Last year it rained on Christmas Day! Completely unheard of.

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I keep posting things that have a silver lining, don’t I? Not only clouds can be edged with brightness, but flowers, grass, trees, and people too.

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But here’s something I haven’t posted before. There’s this one slope where I’ve seen both bear droppings and bear tracks, and it’s no great leap of logic to surmise that this here carcass was made by a bear! I wonder what kind of creature met its nemesis here – the ribcage seems too small to belong to a moose.

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The stream is covered by a thin layer of ice now.

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Just a few months ago, it looked like this:

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Isn’t the variety of nature amazing?

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Ice drops

We’re at that stage now where the frost in the most shadowed corners doesn’t have time to thaw completely before night falls again. Even on a sunny day, the dewdrops have a core of ice.

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You can see the bubbles in the frozen centre, like a tiny explosion.

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And the hedgegrows are their own kind of explosion, with frost-dewy grass glittering everywhere in the setting sun.

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As the sky darkens, the almost-thawed ice drops harden again into translucent pearls. Night has fallen over our part of the world, and soon everything will have fallen silent in the cold.

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Melting

I was woken this morning by a text from my husband: Mist is rising in the woods. Backlit melting frost. Go up the hill behind the sports field.

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It’s good to have a scout sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

So yes, this is another post chock full of frosty stuff, but this time they’re melting, you see? Totally different!

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Every other night is a frost night now, but before the day is over, it’s all melted. I’m actually looking forward to the snow, because most of the colours are gone. The forest is grey and brown, just like it was at the end of April when I first bought my camera. It feels a bit like coming full circle, only what I’m waiting for now isn’t the exuberance of bursting buds, but the quiet descent into a wintry Lethe.

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All their lifeblood gone, the flowers lean on each other for support, heads heavy with frozen dew.

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And one last time, they quicken in the waning warmth of the morning sun.

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The seeds that haven’t blown away hang abandoned from the stem.

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It’s such a special kind of fleeting beauty: melting ice crystals. It only exists for a little while, but that doesn’t make it less precious. Can we think like that of other passing joys as well?

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Frozen

Oh my, what a morning. I had a gut feeling yesterday that today would be beautiful. The aurora was a sign that the night temperatures would dip below freezing and that the sky would be clear at dawn โ€“ perfect conditions for backlit frost pictures.

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But first things first. There was some mist going on, so I hurried up a hill to capture some hazy light and veiled woods.

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I don’t know if it was the cold or the bright light, but the camera seemed to have some trouble focusing. I don’t mind that much, since the pictures still convey the mood, but if cold is an issue, I’ll be learning to focus manually this winter!

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The edges of frost are so pretty, both from a distance and close up. It defines each and every leaf, where just now there was only a blur.

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So, yeah. Autumn was kind of early this year (after a fabulous summer, so I’m not complaining), and so is winter, it seems. Or is frost this early normal? I forget. I don’t usually pay that much attention to the weather. That obsession is completely tied to the camera and my new way of seeing things.

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On the way down from the hill, my path was a burst of glitter and grass. Everything gleamed, wherever I looked. Everything was white or pale yellow. Like a hundred year old photograph that someone had spilled a box of spangles on.

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Sometimes I ‘correct’ pictures like this that are completely blown out, but sometimes that’s exactly the effect I’m going for. Just like my eyes are blinded by the morning sun, the camera is too.

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This was funny: frozen pearls of dew on a clover leaf. As if winter made a surprise attack on it.

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You know what? I actually quite like the movie Frozen – not the silly snowman, but the depiction of mental health issues, creativity and SNOW. The scene where Elsa leaves the town and discovers the full extent of her powers – that imagery is simply irresistible to someone who spent her angsty teenage years writing countless poems about snow, stars and blood. Okay, so blood plays no major part in Frozen, but hey, there’s ice crystals enough to make up for that. And that whole I-thought-I-was-a-wreck-when-really-I-just-needed-to-get-away-from-all-the-bullshit… Yep. Ask me to rule and be a ‘good girl’, and I’ll wither. Leave me alone and I’ll create beauty.

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Look at that! Is it any wonder Christmas decorations are what they are? This looks exactly like tinsel.

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And this. Two hearts on a stem, taking comfort in each other.

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I’m a total magpie for everything that’s bright and shiny. Fairy lights, gold and silver, spangles, snow, stars and frost. And when coupled with strong colours? Count me in. Like these maple leaves on our garden furniture. I mean, there’s just too much awesomeness going on here: first of all, a maple leaf – symbol of Canada, home of Rush. Then, the complementary colours of blue and orange. And finally the cherry on the autumn cake, frost.

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Have a nice day everyone, and don’t forget to look!

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