THE wistful, reedy song of the robin and the increasing vocalisations of our resident tawny owls drift over the valley, as the cacophony of wintering geese on the flood plains adjacent to the River Tay punctuate our winters.
Now we are gale-lashed and rain-sodden, and the garden temporarily loses its exuberant vibrancy. Things are dying back, leaves brown and sodden, grass temporarily curbing its takeover bid.
In early November, when the whole winter stretches ahead of us, it can seem a dank and depressing prospect. Some days it never appears to get light at all, as we stagger out to the fields to find our sheep and Ruby in a sea of mud.
Then, just when we are fed up with what feels like interminable wet and nothing but shades of grey, the weather changes.
It becomes gloriously dry and cold, and light breaks through. Somehow this light feels all the stronger, all the better and all the more intoxicating, and energises us once more.
The low winter sun paints the surrounding area with magical hues, and tinges distant snow-covered mountaintops with a warm pink glow. The garden that seemed sad and neglected bursts into a temporary riot of colour again as frost and snow begins to embellish and transform, revealing nature’s plant perfections.