The last few days have offered the best conditions for Nordic skiing in this part of Aberdeenshire for several years. Deep snow of just the right type, sub-zero temperatures and periods of bright sunshine have combined to give superb skiing in the forest just above the house.
Lots of local folk have been out enjoying the conditions, tracks are well established and make for really good going.
I've been out three consecutive days and enjoyed each one of them immensely. On one afternoon run I went up through a narrow firebreak which is my normal walking route to part of the Correen ridge. The amount of snow which has fallen was clear to see. I was sheltered in the forest but knew that it would be windy above.
Deep powder snow was much harder to make progress though, but I managed up to Peter's Prop to get a view across wide snowfields. This image doesn't show the bitter wind blowing across those snowfields!
Less than three weeks after the winter solstice, sunset is still mid afternoon here. While the sunset was a lovely smoulder in the southwest......
....perhaps the better colour was the gorgeous pale pink glow to the north east - just a beautiful quality of light.
Conditions look to be about to change in the short term, but the ability to get out on ski in these superb days has been a real tonic - hopefully there will be more days of sun, ski and sky this winter.