No brainer question of the day;
"Wash the kitchen floor or go for a walk in the snow with Cliff?"
We've just got back from a short walk across the fields on the edge of the village . . .
The snow has frozen and is scrunchy underfoot; sheets of ice cover the puddles and rivulets of water run beneath the frosty panes.
Just behind the churchyard we disturb a Muntjak deer, it turns in a scatter of snow and is gone. We follow the field margins, the straw coloured grasses stabbing through the snow, and look for animal tracks as we make our way across the smudgy landscape. A mouse had made tracks back and forth between two tunnels in the snow-capped tussocks; birds, dogs, horses had all passed this way.
Then a pale bird swoops across the white-striped furrows and skims over the hedge to our left – a seagull perhaps? No! an owl!
"A Barn Owl!" we whisper – it glides towards us and hovers low over the grasses; I fumble with the camera case and the rasp of velcro sends the owl in slow flaps away over the hedge again.
We stay and watch, inching along the hedgerow to a track which curves through the fields to a farm; we stand and see the owl in the far distance as it hunts over the ditch banks beside the track – and then there are two . . . a pair of Barn Owls hunting together in the snow . . . magical moments.
These are enlarged details from the photos I took. I like the pastel-drawing quality and the winter palette.
Hunters in the snow frozen in time.