You will note that this advent calendar is turning out to have a determinedly snowy theme. Behind today’s door are some images from our lovely weekend away in the woods and hills. I do enjoy the snow — both for walking, and for photographing. I love its eerie quietness; its crazy, sculptural qualities; the incredible things it can do to the light. When you look at a snowy place from a distance, it seems almost felted, softened, somehow — its sharp edges smoothed away — as if the landscape were sleeping, or at rest. Close up, though, you see that the landscape isn’t sleeping at all, but rather that it has assumed a new outlandish, wintry form. The snow effects a total transformation as it covers the landscape, enacting its own playful metamorphoses. I like the way that it gave each reed its own little hat . . .

. . . and made these grasses shimmer with their own delicate sort of bling . . .

. . . these seed husks bend and tremble under a snowflake frosting . . .

. . . and the shape of these new buds is mirrored in the snow droplets beneath them. . .

I spent a long time with the underside of this fallen tree.

It is a bare, dead thing — but the snow makes it marvellous, makes it more than itself. . .

Snow, of course, is treacherous as well as beautiful, and I hope all is very well with those of you on the other side of the Atlantic, for whom snow has meant severe storms, punishing temperatures, and terrible disruption over the past couple of days.

To close this snowy post, here is a West Highland forest in the act of transformation.

7 thoughts on “twenty

  1. Just got back from walking with my husband and dog. we only had a dusting of snow last night in Wisconsin. But it makes puppy happy – she rools and jumps and sniffs every new track to see who has been here before her. then I came home and saw these beautiful pictures on your blog. Love it-amazing how peaceful and quiet (and clean)the world seems after a snowfall.


  2. Lovely pictures! In this upper part of the US we have had 6″ of the fluffiest of snows, and little trauma or disruption. So often all the hysteria is news fodder only. . . from what I’ve heard, the same is largely true for this storm.

    It’s certainly pretty on both sides of the pond!


  3. I’m sad I didn’t spend longer outside with my camera now. I just had the opportunity to catch my eldest burying himself in the snow and didn’t think to capture my plants before the boys knocked all the snow off them. As the snow was falling last night (I’m near Durham) I was admiring the way it was settling on the scrolls on my back gate and the street lights were illuminating it from behind. Very pretty!


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