As the crux of winter looms, the fells hang a necklace of snow around their peaks and the lake glistens in the clear light of the falling day. The birds are quiet, gathering their strength to endure the cold hungry days still to come. Looking out across the water the shadows play like ghost ships seeking anchor whilst the phosphoresencent quality of the surface changes as if a fifties black and white television screen. It’s too cold to linger long, though the dogs seem happy to splash at the water’s edge. I’m minded to take a photograph with my restored pre-digital Yashica lens supplied by The Lens Doctor. That sounds like an advert. It’s not – more like an endorsement for a guy that is doing a great job helping to ensure these wonderful old lenses have a sustainable life after the digital revolution. Meanwhile the light has just changed again.
Here’s a photo of our resident red squirrel taken in June helping himself to hazelnuts. The thing is, since September we have seen neither hide nor hair of him yet the hazelnuts keep disappearing. It’s a mystery. We often find chewed up shells, gnawed through in the characteristic red squirrel way, at the bottom of a small tree. But not one sighting. One of these fine morning I’ll have to drag myself out of our comfy cottage and hide underneath a holly tree to spy upon proceedings. Meanwhile it’s quite nice to have a mystery in life!
The season is changing. Thank heavens the rain has eased – to be replaced by crisp frosty mornings and the snap of fallen leaves. Wonderful blue skies filled with the bleat of passing geese and the promise of a waxwing or two preening on the mountain ash down the lane. Things are getting serious for the wildlife. Our resident red squirrel has gone invisible but the evidence of his presence is unmistakeable in the hazlelnuts sawn through with relish. Like the animals we are all gathering round the warmth, as winter winds up the ante.
A quick walk down to the foreshore at Bassenthwaite Lake reveals a lovely reflection.