|Winter in Borrowdale|
The saturated colours of autumn are such a feast that having enjoyed them during October, November and early December it takes a while to accustom yourself to the calmness of the winter palette. But a Boxing Day walk in Borrowdale showed even on December 26th there is colour to be found. The first colour you see is the lime green of the moss and lichen on the trees and drystone walls. Its brightness seems almost artificial. Then there is the unexpected and warm red of man's eternal friend, the robin. You don't have to walk far in any wood - particularly in Borrowdale - before Robin pops up, inquisitive as ever. His red breast is often complemented by feathers of the softest blue, a feature often overlooked by the artist.
The red berries of the holly bush are one of the few coloured fruits you'll see in winter but they seem to shine out all the brighter for it. Nature's last defiant blast against the dying of the year.
There are subtler colours woven into the countryside's winter garb but even the bronze and amber hues of the ferns on High Crag and Great Crag sing out when caught by a late burst of the afternoon sun. It's a last hurrah before night's chill arrives.
Scientists will probably disagree that white is a true colour but it's one that shines out in winter. The hazel, birch and willow branches add an artistic splash to the browns and greys of High Hows Wood. And there was a welcome surprise during our afternoon walk with a daring dazzle of white beside the water's edge: A dipper with its uncompromising white breast. One wonders why Nature would give such a timid bird such a coat, allowing its enemies to see it so easily and from such a distance. These bursts of colour in midwinter must serve some purpose. Perhaps Nature is sending a message that even in the darkest of days there is colour and cheer to be found if only you look for it. A promise of a spring to come or good friends never far away.
|One comic's 'memorial' to a summer in Borrowdale!|