A strange white light filtered into my sleepy eyes as I woke this morning. The minute I looked out of my window I knew I might not have long before this splendour is gone.
Overnight whilst all was still, fog, ice and a light wind had worked together to create their magic artwork. A rime frost occurs when foggy, supersaturated air rapidly drops below freezing and the liquid droplets turn to ice. Soft, fragile white needles form on branches, leaves, seed heads and cobwebs on the windward side of their bounty; creating the most intriguing, beautiful crystals.
No time for tea or breakfast, I grab my camera, wrap up against the penetrating, foggy coldness and make my way down the rides out towards the open fields.
It is hard to walk briskly. The fog has stolen the horizon causing my eyes to focus on the foreground detail and the myriad of ways these icy needles decorate the hedgerows. The air is perfectly still and heavy, and the autumnal orange leaves are crisp and crunchy under my feet; each footfall breaking the eerie silence.
Up above me two pigeons leave their roost, their wings making a strange vibrating noise as they pick up speed in the dense air. A jay glides just a few metres in front of me to its next perch, blackbirds search through the noisy leaves, whilst robins and blue tits are too cold to escape my approaches. The landscape has a strange ethereal mood. A quietness, a stillness like the land has stopped. This is time out.
I continue with my camera at the ready and enjoy this quiet time before work. It reminds me that we never know what each day will bring; each new dawn a different story waiting to be written.
As I approach the open fields there is a tiny hint of icy blue sky above the fog. The sun is waiting to paint this landscape with yellow sunbeams; waiting to melt the magic away……..It is time for me to return home and back to the reality that awaits me.