Winter in a time of change

The clouds are low over the lough, winding their way around the hills on the far side.softening even further a gentle landscape of the blues, greens and greys of a December day.  As the day moves towards dusk the sky is made of a wash of pale yellow and blue and wintry white.  The lane is quiet. Fallen leaves create a soggy brown edge to the lane but moss forms a wide, deep and luxurious ribbon of brilliant green all the way up the centre of the lane. There is little bird song though there are robins and blackbirds busy in the undergrowth and robins follow our steps in case we have something interesting for them.

There is unlikely to be snow here for Christmas.  The mildness has meant that that the delicate Herb robert flowers are still clustered around the mossy bases of the trees and even some vetch flowers still twist their tendrils through the hedging.  One lone wild strawberry plant complete with strawberry sits sheltered among the moss and lichen on the old wall. The dampness is perfect for ferns and the Hart’s Tongue fern in particular is happily inhabiting the lane way.

At this time of year its easy to focus on the trees, the beauty of their boles. both the outer bark and the inner layers where they have become exposed. Perfect for pencil studies!

The mill stream is now slowing down a little after the latest heavy rain fall and the stone levels that it falls over on its way to the road and the bottom of the lane are clearly visible.

As evening comes the temperature drops and walking Rosie the dog the cold bites at my hands and I know that it won’t be long before gloves are needed.

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