Winter woodland #smallstone 11


Winter woodland #smallstone 11



The fallen leaves have changed from the glory of autumn to the uniform colour of the mud they are slowly disintegrating into, and the crispness of November has become the leathery texture of ancient snakeskin. Mud clings to my boots and to my jeans and my breath hangs like that of an asthmatic dragon as I walk, muscles aching from illness and make myself lengthen stride to make my heart pound. There are the tiniest of green shoots, snowdrops in all probability, but the leaf buds remain tightly bound and unresponsive. Around me though bird song occasionally trills out, the first tentative changes in their tunes can be heard if you know how to listen. They’re cautious, of course, and their chatter here and there is filled with rumour: we may live through this cold yet and come to the spring, but we must be strong. The trees are silent, lost in deeper sleep than Arthur the King, and even when I rest hand or ear on them, I sense nothing but dreaming. This is a time of blind trust, that the worst, the longest days of hardship are over and little by little, the light will return and with it, hope of new life.

12 thoughts on “Winter woodland #smallstone 11

  1. Great photo to accompany your words, Viv. The trees look alive. Yes, I’ve heard that subtle change in the birdsong, I’m just hoping it’s not too early and that no hopes are dampened. Maybe this is just midwinter spring – but I’m not complaining, whatever it is it feels more and most hopeful! Hope you do too,
    Karin x


      • Ah, a blackthorn winter is the sudden return of severe wintery weather just at the time when the sloes start blooming. Usually the blackthorns are a good predictor of long term weather prospects and they delay flowering till the risks of severe frosts are past. But a blackthorn winter comes and blights the blossoms and means the autumn fruit is scanty.
        It can also be used to refer to when a young person’s life is marred by tragedy and loss.


  2. We are having the coldest winter on record.
    I spent Christmas night in the hospital with my mom.
    I am starting to feel like I am in a place where “its always winter and never Christmas “.

    I think all of our trees are dreaming too 🙂


    • I go on the principal that you must summer and winter a place to begin to truly know it; most people base their judgement on the summer. I also love visiting gardens in the winter, because all is in potentia and there is a restful peace about it.


    • I shall.
      I also changed a tiny bit of my piece, adding a comma because the sentence could read several ways, and I wanted to make sure it read the way it was in my head.
      I’m not a grammar or spelling nazi; I will notice errors but not worry about them in others, or much in myself. There are bigger things to worry about!


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