Country diary: snowfall creates a mini monochrome world in the woods


The Chevin, Otley, West Yorkshire: The only colour is the dark green ferns in the depths of a ghyll

I set out on my usual lockdown run, expecting to tread the same paths. But as soon as I leave the town and climb a little up the Chevin ridge, I find myself in an entirely new landscape.

The paths through the wood have become snow tunnels, and the usual ambient noise of cars on the roads in the valley below is suppressed. The result is a muffled, monochrome world that exists in its own fragile reality. The snow gilds everything, from the forest floor to the very twig-tips of the beech trees, on which tufts of frosting balance as if they weigh nothing.

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