Winter woodland walk

Since we have returned from New Zealand I have walked through our garden and woodlands most days. 
It is usually late afternoon before I start up the hill, well wrapped up against the cold with fleece and my wonderful possum hat from New Zealand.
Daylight is drawing out markedly now. I am still finding the mornings very dark, but the evenings are stretching nicely and it is now well after five before it is dark. Hoorah!

This late afternoon light is special.
We are having a quiet cold spell just now and the light on Loch Ness is great.
I always think of Loch Ness as steely grey and it looks wonderful, arctic cold glinting in moonlight and mirror glass calm by day. 

December was very wet and the footpaths are still greasy in places
The last of the leaves are brown and damp and the air is heavy with the humus smell of woodlands.

Bark and branch dominate the foreground, with pockets of dark holly and Blechnum spicant; the elegant hard fern; on dry banks.
Of course snow drops are through and the garden looks well, temperatures have not been below -4.  Fingers crossed.

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