Frosted Per­fec­tion

The People's Friend Special - - THINGS TO DO -

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.

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