Cornwall glistened this morning, the fields sparkling in the half sun, half shade early morning light. Just beautiful. I don't mind the cold when it is accompanied by such wonderful winter sun...what's to mind when you can at least wrap up and stay dry? It's the seemingly endless rain that drives me to despair, so for once Pipany is not grumbling as she dones her duffel and wellies to venture into the frozen garden on the usual duck/hen feeding mission.
Wonderful still-life all around had me returning to the warmth in search of the camera, the poor ducks barking loudly as breakfast didn't appear to be on my agenda. As I glanced toward them I realised their pond had frozen over yet again in the sub-zero temperatures. Yesterday it took less than an hour after breaking the ice for it to freeze solid once more. All my usual tricks with floating balls, etc had failed to work this time and they sat looking disgustedly at the thick layer on even the part which is four foot deep in water. Ah well, they'll have to make do with their drinking water to play with for the moment. We have actually never had the pond freeze like this before as we only get about one frost a year which causes few problems. Even Cornwall has felt the chill this time.
On round the garden searching for any signs of life. I love the fur coats on the buds of the magnollia stellata. It is covered this year and hopefully the snow white petals are curled tight enough inside to be protected from this cold snap.
Crocuses push through the hard ground reminding me that Spring is not so very far away and that there will soon be little stars of mauve and egg-yolk yellow shining over the bare earth.
The hen pen is for once not a squishy quagmire and I collect the perfect treasure nestled within the straw, one still warm in my hand. I think Isabella and I may bake a cake today using these - coffee and walnut appeals, but then so does lemon drizzle or indeed anything lemony.
The sunlight brightens momentarily and catches the verdant green moss sitting cosily on a log which Isabella and I share when watching the camp fire. The ridged surface of the wood twinkles as the sun lights its frosty covering and the whole appeals to the child in me who would have conjured little stories around such a scene. An ice rink for a beetle? A moss bed for a ladybird? Who knows, but always, always I would hunt out vignettes of hedgerows and gardens to create an imaginary world so much better in my head than the reality I actually had.
I find some daffodils pushing their sturdy shoots up, leaning forward as though desperate for the sun's rays and warmth. I look harder and find more, though yet again I haven't added to the number strewn around and I feel the familiar annoyance. Every year I mean to plant more bulbs, but time always runs away from me. Next year...
A final glance up at the rich branches of the fruiting cherry tree against the clear blue sky and then back into the warmth for a hot drink, thoughts of daffys and crocuses and Spring running round my head. I open the post and find a plant catalogue has arrived....perfect.
Happy Wednesday xx