Sunday, 14 December 2014
Rise and shine
After a week of storms and snow showers, a calm morning. I headed out from the house just as the light was coming up for a circular walk of an hour or so. A pale wash of colour to the southeast hinted at a nice sunrise to come. The night had been cold and the temperature was still minus 5 degrees Celsius, bracing in the still air. The dominant sounds were the early morning jostlings, greetings and conversation of the farmland specialists, the "caw" of Rooks, the sharper "chack" of Jackdaws and, in the distance, the high call of a Buzzard
I'd just reached the top of the lane from the house when the colours in the sky drew me to abandon the route of my walk and head up the field edge to a wooded ridgeline with a view east. The crunch of the icy ground and the brush of my boots through the barley stubbles alerted a small party of Roe deer, three does and a calf. As their heads swivelled up and towards me I stopped and stood absolutely still. I was treated to a nice close view for some minutes before the deer moved off with graceful bounds.
Up on the ridge and through the trees, the view across the houses of Bridge of Alford and beyond to Benaquhallie was lit by a glorious sunrise shading from brilliant yellow through gold and pink. I stood and watched for some twenty minutes as the colours lightened to a searing yellow-white as the sun rose above the higher ground.
The low sun gave a very faint pink tinge to the light and the frigid air rendered everything pin-sharp; the frosting of the trees on Coiliochbar Hill clearly visible across a few kilometres.
The snow cover on the Correen Hills appears well established, but this early in the winter a couple of mild days would strip the brilliant white back to more muted shades. In the early light the hillside fairly dazzled, offset by the warmer browns of larches.
Now chilled from standing around in the cold air, I turned to head back home. The sun was yet to reach the houses and a faint waft of woodsmoke was just detectable on the almost still air. Time for breakfast.......