These photos were taken on Christmas Day. I was cook for the day, so was busy all morning with my turkey, listening to Woman’s Hour, peeling a mountain of sprouts, parsnips, carrots and potatoes. I just nipped outside to empty my peelings onto the compost heap.
There had been a sharp frost overnight, and it didn’t thaw through the day: these photos were taken just after midday.
What struck me, returning from the compost heap with my empty kitchen caddy, was how the sunlight was shining through the frost. There was a corona of light around the plant forms. What seems so dead and lifeless at this time of year, was touched with light.
This umbellifer was transformed into a glistening diadem.
It is at the interface between living thing and the outside world where the magic happens.
These raspberry canes were backlit. The outline of white emphasised their fine curlicues. They still have their dignity.
At our edges we are most vulnerable. These flowerheads of Hydrangea are paper-thin. With vulnerability comes delicacy, subtlety and grace.
The frost on Rosa rugosa emphasised their thorny spines. They are well-protected. The spikes are sparky. They provide a structure for spiders to weave fine threads.
The rosehips are topped with a twisted coronet. A little disorder and dishevelment is more interesting than perfect symmetry.
I was mesmerised by the textures of Rosa rugosa. There is a softness here, amongst the snags. It is a complex creature.
The pear tree is well-armoured for winter. It is wound around with a fleece of moth-eaten lichen, and strung with pearly cobwebs. New buds are waiting to burst, if we give them time.
Where at first glance it looks like this bed is bereft of all life, there is a hummock. Something is just starting to push through.
I didn’t hang around for long, but it was a lovely stolen moment on Christmas Day. The gift of frost meant that I looked carefully, and saw a little winter magic. Life can’t be all sunshine and roses. We need some hard frost to give us our edges and our definition.
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