Last Thursday I made my way as usual to work – a short walk around the corner from home to the office. I found myself zipping my jacket right up to the top, burrowing hands into pockets and bracing up to the sharp cold. Something had gone out of the air today. The warmth of summer, to which I’d grown so unconsciously accustomed, had vanished. Winter was breathing down my neck.
The next morning was colder still, and there was quite clearly snow on the hills down to a low level, though none yet in the glens. Throughout the day a combination of sleet and rain roared on the roof of the office. It really felt like autumn was being forced out, and I found a few words to string together.
The Great Change is upon the earth
Something has gone out of the air today
Clouds drag themselves across the hills, as if wounded
Leaving a white trail behind them
The flat steel roof roars
Gunshot pellets of hail are blowing like smoke
Falling and striking the pavement
Which is grey, not like the silver clouds
Golden birch is rendered brown
Stick fingers scrabbling on the window
Flapping back and forth
Like windscreen wipers over yellow eyes
Passing back and forth in the rain
But between that cloud and that one
The sky is a lighter shade of… pink?
No, I’ll never understand the winter sky
But at least it’s on the way at last
So I can have a good look at it again
The next day dawned with a heavy frost, patches of snow and blue skies. Mist clung to the ground in patches here and there. If you are familiar with my work then you’ll know those are my dream conditions. You’re probably related to me too 😉
It’s great to get some early snowfall on the hills; it makes the perfect companion to the last colours of autumn. I feel like the images should do the talking from this point so here are some shots from Torridon and the Cairngorms.
Next year I’ll be leading a photography tour in these locations (3 days in the Cairngorms, then 3 days in Torridon) so I’ll be making as many trips up there as I can over the winter to continue looking for hidden nooks and crannies.