Thursday, 28 November 2013
The turning wheel
Three days of deep frosts followed by a bitter day of cold, lashing rain; it feels that autumn is now turning to winter in the Aberdeenshire countryside. The trees are almost bare and the fields behind our house have been spread with dung then ploughed to await their next crop - the land transformed from the golds of late summer to brown shades.
On a more settled morning I took a walk to get some height and hopefully a view.
Coiliocbhar Hill is just ten minutes drive from home and I was soon up above the farmland and onto the hill ground.
The moorland grasses are bleached and dry after snow, then cold winds and frost - it really looks like winter.
To the north-east I could look over to Bennachie, that most recognisable of Aberdeenshire's hills, and one associated with homecomings. The last time I was on Coiliochbhar Hill I was treated to a great Brocken Spectre, but no chance of that today in a cold blustery airstream.
To the west I looked over the course of the River Don and beyond to the hills separating Donside from Fiddichside......
.......while a bit closer, the hulk of Kildrummy Castle watches the turning of the seasons, as it has done for 800 years.
I walked reluctantly back down from the hill towards a winter sky. The wheel of the seasons is turning. I'm about to leave for four months working abroad; when I return the wheel will have turned further and the fresh shades of Spring will be across the land. As with the seasons, the small cycle of my own wheel will have turned too.