A Touch of Frost

There is something rather magical about a frosty landscape.

Trees, berries and flora, who once were dull, bare and rather sad looking due to the season are suddenly encased in ice, that glistens white, to create an ethereal setting that puts me in the mind of Narnia at the time of the Snow Queens reign.

This past week we were treated to such a scene, a hard frost that lasted throughout the day.

Out into the garden I ventured to observe how the ice had changed the landscape. Formations of ice, known as soft rime ice, caused by water droplets freezing in light fog/mist to outer surfaces, in this case branches, leaves etc…generally in the appearance of white needles/scales covered virtually all of the garden.

I wanted to dedicate my photography to the changes these formations made to the smaller landscape, rather than the bigger picture, so I decided upon my macro lens (Sigma 105mm).

Simply shaped leaves now surrounded by delicate, spiky ice, Holly bushes with frosted berries and their leaves given white outlines all drew my attention.

One of my favourite finds were spider webs vacated by their maker and given an icy makeover. Their intricate designs highlighted by the frost.

Even without the frost, the garden has been a great solace for me. Birds visiting the feeders are a great source of entertainment. Since the beginning of the year I have been keeping a list of birds/animals that have visited the garden. It will be interesting to see how this evolves during the year.

Unfortunately, I do not have any birding pictures for this week, but the sightings I have noted have given me a great aim for upcoming posts to try and capture. I will not spoil the surprise of what sightings I have made, I am hoping to be able to show you!

I hope you are all bearing up during the lockdown, I sometimes wander what I would be doing to keep my sanity if I didn’t have photography. What has helped you so far during these times?

A great symbol of hope that I was able to snap this past week, was the humble snowdrop. Seen as a signal of the upcoming spring, this bloom is a welcome sight in the garden. I love looking for markers of each season, for the past 3 years I have owned an almanac to aid me in what to look out for in each month of the year.

I would highly recommend The Almanac created by Lia Leendertz, not only a beautiful looking book full of gorgeous illustrations, it is jammed packed with pages of what to look out for each month, what to be working on in the garden, folklore relating to the month plus much more.

This year I have also purchased The Night sky Almanac by Storm Dunlop and Will Tirion, apart from my moon pictures I would like to give astro-photography a proper try this year (weather permitting).

Before Christmas we were treated to “The Star of Bethlehem” where Jupiter and Saturn were aligned to appear as one star, last occurring in 1623. Sadly the evening when the great conjunction happened, a cloudy sky prevented it being seen from here, although the previous and latter evenings they could be clearly seen in the sky extremely close together. Did you manage to see the alignment?

Again, no photographic evidence was collected for the event, I am hoping that with the Night sky almanac I can prepare and research how to capture different astro occasions, helped by the fact I should be aware of them in ample time. Fingers Crossed!

I hope the past week has been a good one for you all, I wish you all the best, until next time, take care.