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Winter, when the days are grey, damp and overcast, the best place to be is indoors beside a warm fire. On cold, frosty days, especially when there is sunshine, it is quite different: the air is as crisp as the hoar underfoot, filling the lungs with its coolness yet bringing warming joy to the heart. Nature is silenced, the sense of magic is palpable.
In Winter in the Garden, E T Cook in 1908 captures one such moment…
There is something rather appealing about tiny, wild flowers. For me, the bird’s foot lotus or trefoil always makes me think of childhood summers – whereas my sister was content to make daisy chains from those found on the lawn, I wanted to search dry, grassy banks for what we called Eggs and Bacon. To find the occasional burnt orange flower (the bacon) amongst the countless golden yellow ones (the eggs) was almost as good as being presented with a plateful of the real thing!
The July Grass, Richard Jefferies, 1889
For the first of my Nature Notes I have chosen one of my favourite photographs and the writing of one of my favourite authors. The words of Victorian naturalist and mystic (although I doubt if he would have described himself as such) match my feelings so perfectly and the photo of my father and me as a young boy has a timeless quality about it.
The Open Air, Richard Jefferies, 1885 (I’m not quite as old as that!)