December 02, 2010

Monochrome cold

Arctic winds are sweeping across the UK and bringing with them the most unbelievable temperatures and snow, minus 25 degrees in Scotland tonight and feet of snow for the last week over most of the country. This is the most severe weather I can remember, although where we live we have escaped most of the heavy snow and had temperatures down to minus 10 'only'! Despite the fact that we are not under deep layers of snow here, the landscape has gone monochrome, as if suddenly, when no-one was looking, colour swirled off in a rainbow cascade down some elemental plughole and left us with a completely different palette, all whites, greys, blacks and browns washed of bright colour, but ethereal and northerly and rather beautiful.

The heavy grey skies and sharp outlines of leafless branches and skeletal remains of plants and grasses have their own haunting glamour,

and even the cows I passed today were monochrome!

The ground is frozen solid

and just when I thought colour had disappeared entirely, a frozen puddle had caught some fallen leaves and suddenly mud was gilded with gold leaf - how glorious, ridiculous, lovely!


  1. Thank you Belinda, I was particularly tickled by your comment! Love those organic icy shapes in the water, amazing,

    Love Sarah x

  2. What a lovely way you have with words, Belinda - such vivid images you paint and the accompanying photographs are truly beautiful!

    I cannot begin to conceive of the kinds of temperatures you're experiencing!

  3. Love the fennel (or is it cow parsley?) seedhead and also the swirly ice on the ground, and good to appreciate its beauty even when the sky isn't bright blue. Jan x

  4. Dear Belinda,

    You captured the right words to describe the weather we are having. I especially liked your words 'haunting glamour'. When I look at your photo's that's exactly the way I feel about it: a bit scarry, but oh so beautiful!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  5. Yes beautiful. but o so cold.

    I actually feel chilled looking at these and I am home in a snug little house.

    We have flowers still lingering on and I was just thinking the grass needs to mowed again. if it loses it's coat of frost.

    Brrr, Belinda.

    xo jane

  6. That looks like Hogweed!
    I just ordered some Hogweed tea towels from the UK...they were on the Hogweed pottery site...
    Hope that you have lots of cold weather clothing...that Arctic wind can be chilly.

  7. So, please educate me.. are you talking centigrade or Fahrenheit? It's lovely, but I do NOT envy you the cold. Stay warm!

  8. wowsa - you know it's cold when the water freezes.

    Beautiful pictures and have a lovely weekend.

    Nina xxx

  9. Lovely pictures Belinda! I was just wondering.. How do the cows manage the cold weather?

  10. Hi S-J, It is soooo cold, everydarnedthing is frozen!

    Desiree, thanks for the kind words, glad you are a bit warmer than us!

    Jan, glad you liked the images, you know I rather like the greyness sometimes, in a vaguely Scandanavian, Wallender-ish type way!

    Madelief, glamour comes in so many different forms doesn't it?

    Hi Mette, I think the cows are really hardy Highland cattle bred for these cold northern winters. This is extreme though, so I hope the farmer is looking after them well.

    Jane, BRRRRRRR indeed! Considering the hotwater bottle up the jumper look, whatdayathink??

    Nina, wowza is the word!

    Webb, I am talking centigrade, I am talking freeze my toes off!!

    Hostess, ahhh, hogweed, cowparsley, fennel, angelica, I adore them all, my favourite family of plants quite possibly. I think the photo is giant hogweed, so toxic but stunning.

  11. Oops, Jan that should read, Wallander, I think! Do you watch it. I am addicted!xx

  12. What pretty pictures. I love when you can really see the shapes of plants and trees with that lighting. Hope you're staying warm, I've been reading about all that snow and cold there.

  13. Belinda - I lived in Sweden many years ago and LOVE Wallander! The original Swedish version, that is. I haven't watched the Kenneth Branagh ones - if I'm honest, I was a bit snobby about it at first as they pronounce all the Swedish names wrong (oh, dear - not sure I like what that says about me!) but am tempted to watch them now if only to allay my withdrawal symptoms for that fabulous, bleak scenery! Jan x

  14. Jan, totally with you, we have been hooked on the original Swedish one, with subtitles, which has been on one of the digital channels recently. Brilliantly acted, in that slightly under-acted, wonderfully restrained way, and the scenery, houses, interiors, eeehhh don't get me started!!Some of the landscape shots could be beautiful, framed stills. A little gory sometimes for me, but love everything else. I seem to really relate to the nordic ascetic, if ther is such a thing. We are off to Norway this month to stay with friends.xx

  15. Hi Catherine, thanks for appreciating the grey light, I agree it is brilliant for picking out delicate outlines.

  16. What beautiful pictures. You live in a lovely place...even frozen! I am in Texas where it is still hot and not feeling very Christmassy. Hopefully we will have some cold soon.

  17. Hi wayside wanderer, a big welcome to my blog, so glad you dropped by! You are more than welcome to some of our extra coldness!!