1 February 2017
Sun, bright. Greens are greener especially anything fragile amongst leaves, telling lies of Spring and new life. Almost warms the skin in still moments. And then the wind scuttles back to remind us of the truth that Winter has not left.
2 February 2017
Wind rising, shaking out her wings and harmonising her lungs, the stillness of the year’s turn has passed. Even gusting it can only sway tall trees; just sufficient to dislodge dying and broken branches. Wet leaves sit unmoved as she passes.
3 February 2017
Gusts spit this way and that as rain shifts between Cumbrian soft and sudden swift showers in a campaign of confusion. Wind growls and readies for a roar that never quite delivers. Sun sits at home as disinclined as dogs to come out into the damp.
4 February 2017
Wind blown but not cheek cracked; squalls rather than hurricanoes. The wind snarls and grumbles like a chained dog swaying tree tops to a private beat, their creaking limbs add groans to an unorchestrated cacophony.
5 February 2017
A sort of post-storm stillness. Wind still moves, more with a sigh than a scowl. The river, risen with day old rain mostly swirls and spins more quietly than when it eddied and tumbled. The friction of water and stone is held beneath the surface lost in the stream that will always be too small to roar.
6 February 2017
A dissembling party goer, bright sun arrives without the promised warmth; trusting that the other guests will not notice the premier cru he has not brought as he glad hands them with wide eyes and bright smiles which carry more light than warmth.
7 February 2017
River rolls replete, close to full, spread out and slow, the swirl and swell of recent rain meandering like an overindulgent meal onto the hips and waistline. Yesterday’s near rages and rocky roars fading to alimentary rumbles and a peristaltic gurgle.
8 February 2017
Sun burning but unwarming. On the ground a few dead leaves that still embrace some colour radiate back the gold. Tall oak branches carry leaves that they have held through autumn and the turn; brass burnished, copper polished like Roman banners preparing for a triumph.
9 February 2017
Thin, pale light, as much fading silver moon as soon to be risen golden sun. As eyes adjust the skeletal trees step forward as if to hide what shelters in the undergrowth. Dogs scurry about sniffing out the nocturnal beasts heading home to rest.
10 February 2017
Night frost has stepped lightly upon the land, leaving a fine white dusting in its wake. Blades of grass crisped at the tips sustain suppleness through the stem. Earth that crunches underfoot holds softness that damps the sound.
11 February 2017
There is a kind of bitterness to the cold. A harshness in the slanting sun as it peels mist from the frosted hillside that on another day would be a daunting winter beauty. Cold like an old man’s hand slipping underneath your skin to pluck uncertainly at organs lying there.
12 February 2017
Cold has moved from bitter to biting aided by a gentle wind that silently chills the skin. No frost, ice is thin and melting. One spot masked from winter sun by trees that’s open to the skies retains a crunch that each footstep speeds to dissolution.
13 February 2017
Gentleness in and of the air that rests against my face not cold but without heat. Smooth water rolls on rocks less loud than tumbling. Soft earth yields with neither crunch nor squelch. Brief sun drops her cloud blanket to allow warmth an early furlough.
14 February 2017
Trees dripped out. Damp remains of last night’s rain. Nothing sparkles in the absent sun, its presence behind the grey clouds leaving just a dull flat light. Earth softened sounds underfoot as soil and water are compressed and crushed to mud.
15 February 2017
River rills and drops provide bottom notes to a gentle wind that spreads the multitude of birdsong starting with the raucous double base of crow. Size descends and pitch rises through cellos, violas and violins sounding the universal dance of mating. And the occasional ukulele balanced by the timpani of insect hunting woodpecker.
16 February 2017
A jewelled blanket, the dew adorns the mysterious undulating body of the earth. A sprawl of leaves an old gold shawl slung across her shoulder.
17 February 2017
Like surviving soldiers struggling home, slump shouldered trees step slowly through a mist that settles unevenly on sloping field and grassy paddock leaving the vision of a rushed and roughhewn burial ground. And within an hour sunshine will have flamed it to a fading memory.
18 February 2017
Sky and ground fade into one thick sepulchral mist that shrouds the world. Sun struggles but fails to hold back the remains of night time chill. Nature’s handwarmer in a fresh laid egg offers warmth and a message of a turning cycle.
19 February 2017
Sharp frost struck by shining sun lays out a sparkling diamond sea; a spread that survives but for a moment. Dark pockets hide and hoard their jewellery but light and heat are hunting and will find them out so they do not last the day.
20 February 2017
Dull flat indistinguishable sky. Light but no sun, no shadow, no drama. There is air but no wind, no movement, no sound. Life is waiting: rabbit young snuggle in a nest of mother fur; birds hunt silently; buds swell on twigs; and grass shoots paused for winter gird themselves for growth.
21 February 2017
After rain there is a clarity to the air that appreciates the smells of earth that some disdain, of life and death and growth and pain; a lucidity that accentuates the tread of passing night time boar, leaving a little hill of mud the worms will soon destroy.
22 February 2017
Land presses against my sole, soft or stony each undulation reverberates through the layers of shoe and sock and skin. The squash of leaves loaming into earth, the longing of grass for growth; each change the contact and the charge of every step upon the soil’s soul.
23 February 2017
A breeze curls out a sense of gentle chill; like a cat in from the night rubbing its cold fur against your ankles, lying as it asks for food, deliberately forgetting the fledgling it has just filched from its mother’s nest to flay and feast on flesh; the breeze is lying about winter disowning centre stage.
24 February 2017
Winter wanes each day and claws back ground each night leaving slivers and slugs of ice to sit in sheltered spots slowly melting; holding the cold into the sunlit air that fills with swirl and song and swoop of dancing birds.
25 February 2017
The frost and freeze, the jewels left hanging in the trees, mark the ice queen’s dark time ride but they will not last. The day belongs to the shining star that rises sweeping all before; the star whose smile across the grass melts white to hints of acid green.
26 February 2017
Soft leaves, thin under drizzle. At fall they had substance, strength and structure in at least three dimensions. That body has withered with the cold and light and rain, the potency pinched flat almost to a nothing and the shape wasted to a web upon the bones, adrift, a starving refugee.
27 February 2017
Wind lifts and shifts and dries the leaves to let them swirl and dance in dappled sunlight. Their slight sounds masked by swaying branches flexing joints stiff from winter slumber, themselves silenced by the roar of raging angry air above that blasts and buffets clouds to tatters.
28 February 2017
After rain a momentary sense of sunlight deepens the green of grass, darkens the brown of fallen leaves and enriches the greenery of winter. And at the furthest point from shelter the grey descends wiping the sun’s smile, thunder and lightning greet the day and the skies open.