Sunday, January 9, 2011

Come and gone

Only a few weeks ago, I was anticipating the arrival of a harsh winter in Belgium based on the unlikely discovery of a few speckles of snow in early December. We didn’t have to wait long because only a few days after that post, it started snowing... to the tune of Belgian’s harshest winter since 1946. But almost as suddenly as it came, Belgian's big winter has vanished. We came back on Thursday from holidays in Canada to discover that the almost 2 feet of snow which we left behind has dissolved into puddles and muddy fields, and temperatures are now at a balmy 10C.

Winter may have been short, but it was beautiful. Here are a few pictures of the magical winter landscape not often seen in Belgium, taken on December 18th. The snow had that perfect quality which makes it stick to every surface. It’s amazing how much we can overlook when admiring nature and our gardens – only with snow highlighting every twig, can one fully appreciate the intricate branching structure of trees and the rich woody layers of the forest.

A snowy cover also means that we're irresistibly attracted to any colour not white or brown. Pictures of red berries in winter are so overdone, and yet it's hard not to take (and post) just one more.

Structure and colour - winter is a great reminder of these important elements of landscape.

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