Ice-melt puddles on Scout Scar escarpment, floodwater in the Lyth Valley and snow on the fells. Sunlight illuminates escarpment terrace and buttress of dark yew, colouring winter woods. The morning is warm and still. Raven fly the cliff-edge. Hoping for skylark, I hear fieldfare, finding them in a whitebeam of withered berry. Clouds gather and the face of February is grey again. Heavy rain overnight and a forecast of more to come.
I love winter woods and the effects of light flooding through them. Give me a photograph and ask the season, the month it was taken. Look at these Scout Scar images and the hanging wood. Yew is dark and ever green. Whitebeam that rise from the cliff-face are in tight bud and hazel catkins flower. Birch are silver bark with an aura of amethyst of young growth and buds. I love the season of tree flowers. All far more exciting than full summer foliage.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)