Tuesday, 14 December 2010


We live on the edge of a forest, and in the winter we sometimes get what I think of as frozen fog.
A thick mist seems to rise from the ground, and if it's cold enough, it encases every leaf and blade of grass and hedgerow twig in silvery ice.  The effect is magical.
This year, the big freeze came before the oak trees had shed their leaves and we've had a rare display of bronze mixed in with the more usual shades of pewter-gray. 

Last week I had spent the morning shopping for a party . . . (I utter the word "Costco" only so you may appreciate the contrast) . . . and on the drive back home I was arrested by the sight of these ghostly trees.  Although it was only mid-afternoon, the dusk was purplish-dark already.   It was as if Winter had cast a spell of enchantment and all of the world was frozen in its tracks. 

I'm not immune to winter's charms, but sometimes I have to be reminded that chief amongst them is that deep blanketing silence that is not experienced at any other time of the year.

I've had two solid weeks of almost unceasing activity, and way too many evenings which have ended in morning -- surely not a good thing at the darkest time of the year -- but funnily enough, I think that it is these few quiet moments that will stay with me:

my daughter's purely sung solo (in candlelit darkness) at the Christmas concert tonight,
and the world stilled and silenced by frozen fog.


Nature Drunk said...

Beautiful shots! Mystical and magical. I too have oaks near my home and tried to capture a similar shot yesterday. Alas, the sun peeped through before I could get my chickens fed and the camera out. Thanks for the wonderful post.

Teresa O said...

Nature is the most dramatic artist of all and you captured a dreamy, hauntingly beautiful moment in time with your words and photos.

steven said...

winter holds the moment like no other season. steven

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Gorgeous and atmospheric.
You are so right. Winter has the most sublime silences.

Lisa said...

What a breathtaking moment that must have been to hear your daughter sing in that setting.

I love winter for its quiet and stillness, especially when I don't have to go out into the cold very much. I'm a winter spectator.

Dragonfly said...

I just love your first photo - I can almost hear the silence.

I have goosebumps at the thought of your daughter singing solo.

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

Something happens in those still moments doesn't it? The soul is fed. With all the frenetic build up to Christmas they are needed!x

Sarah Laurence said...

These photos and your words are hauntingly beautiful. My favorite images from our year at Oxford were taken at Port Meadow during frosts/frozen mists. I like how you contrast the quiet of the landscape with the bustle of holidays. Thanks for reminding me to slow down.

Plantaliscious said...

Such beautiful images, and words, made me feel quite peaceful. I love that winter hush, whether from snow or fog, it is magical.

Cottage Garden said...

What a fabulous image Bee - the purple hue is discernible.

I relish such silent and still moments, when nature is stripped back to its bare bones. Beautiful words as ever.

Hearing your daughter sing solo at the candlelit concert must have been joyous!


Nimble said...

Mysterious winter depths. I walked out to a clear twilight sky yesterday after work. It was a pale lavender with the quarter moon overhead. A sky that reminded me of mild autumn nights but the air held no warmth at all. Cold winter temps remind me how separate I am from the landscape. My warmth is the anomaly and has to be fiercely guarded.

Thank you for the frozen mist descriptions and photos. The concert sounds great. Hurray for vocal music.

Tess Kincaid said...

I love the haunting and mystical frozen fog. It visits the manor in the winter, too.

elizabethm said...

We very rarely get fog on our hillside. Sometimes there is mist in the valley and sun up here and quite often you can drive across into England and be shrouded in fog across the Cheshire plain. I have always loved being in the clearer, higher light, but you have made me see that fog has its own special beauty.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

You've captured such beauty here with both words and pictures. How lucky you are to live on the edge of a forest. I'm reading a book now that you might like. It's titled - 'the life of an unknown' The Rediscovered World of a Clog Maker in Nineteenth-Century France by Alain Corbin, a French historian. (Publisher - Columbia) I was reading about forest life in France all morning.
Wishing you many silent moments throughout the season, Bee -

P.S. Blogger word verifications are getting strange. Mine is 'turdmon'. Must think the forest needs some fertilizer. Ha!

kristina said...

Those pictures are just amazing. I can feel the stillness. K x

slommler said...

Beautiful thoughts and pictures!!!

homegrown countrygirl said...

Beautiful photos and a charming post! I felt like I was right there, experiencing it myself!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I simply adore this post! It's everything I love about winter and I could clearly see in my mind's eye all the magical scenes you described. Sigh. Love it!

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Bee

I love your winter pictures!


Tracy :)

CashmereLibrarian said...

Ah, the icy, beautiful melancholy of winter! Here on the Prairie we simply have piles of snow (pretty) and evil windchills ( ugh).

Kristen In London said...

I can never manage to get through a daughter's solo without crying. And I don't mean a tear or two, I mean TEARS. How did you get through?