We have now had two weeks of frost at night, with the temperature falling, at the coldest, to -8 Celsius. Nine days ago it snowed and, while the temperature is now rising towards the seasonal normal, there is still much of the white stuff on the ground.
On a brief visit to Emthree there were few signs of wild life but then I pay more attention to some of the remains of summer such as the dead ragwort receptacles below. Their work ended long ago and they now rustle together like air fossils, the pepper pot receptacles surrounded by all-askew spiky phyllaries that once held up the golden flowers in a green embrace.
These have a certain gaunt, scratchy kind of feel, but cold weather brings beauty as well. Here is the upper part of the birch tree which was spotted as a seedling in the Square Metre in spring 2004. The lower part of its trunk can be seen in the picture at the top of the page.