While the past couple of days have been somewhat damp and dreary, when I woke early on Thursday the light seemed so odd that at first I thought we’d had snow (we get so little of it here in Norfolk that it still makes me get all excited and happy), in fact it was a heavy frost and it’d quite transformed the way everywhere outside looked…..
As soon as my boyfriend had gone off to work I bundled up and headed out to the shops but as it was such a beautiful morning I figured the marshes would be walkable so I took the scenic route…..
Within minutes my nose felt numb and it felt like it was starting to run, the skin around my eyes was all tingly because of the crisp air….I hadn’t realised it was quite this cold and was glad I’d really wrapped up warm (I ended up wearing what I now think of the cat blanket but which is in fact a nice shawl from a posh boutique that used to be in Norwich so I wasn’t going to win any style prizes for dress but hoped I’d stay warm)…..
Normally in the winter this way is really boggy, and the year before last it flooded, so all this was under water, it looked beautiful with swans and moor hens swimming very close by to where I’d sat that day…….it’s so open here and so very very beautiful….
The air is just filled with an orchestra of bird song, they’re all out in force, hungry for food…and I’m glad I made sure to fill all our feeders before I stepped out.
For a good couple of weeks last year this way wasn’t really walk-able, you could get part way but then it was just too wet underfoot where the water has risen….. but today while it’s still cold and frozen underfoot I thought I’d risk it, see how it is and if it’s too wet I can always turn back.
I always love this view, Keswick MIll is just in the distance. It looks so bleak here in the colder months but when there’s been a frost it looks so otherworldly, all fey and mystery.
The light is really grey and eeie and I was hoping hoping hoping with fingers crossed inside my mitten that it would snow later on (it didn’t).
The only other sound apart from the bird song is the rumble of the trains as they hurtle along in the distance….
I bought a pair of boots by Sorel some years ago and they are brilliant for wearing when the weather isn’t great, they keep my feet warm and dry, they also lace on which means if I step in a wet muddy bit they don’t slip off like wellies….
It looks so different here in the Summer, pastures all full of colourful wild flowers, blue catseye speedwell, and stitchwort which looks like tiny white stars, wild chamomile…tiny tufts of ragged robin.
I love the look of the marsh grass when it’s frosty, the spikey clumps look just like they do on maps to show that land is marshy……it’s such the best map illustration/marker. Sometimes when I’m here I half expect to see a Marshwiggle all set up with his tent……
But the marsh grass also hides a secret, it tends to grow up where it’s particularly boggy, and while it’s fine to walk across here in the summer when it’s been good and dry, when it’s wet or wintery you’re more like to sink into the mud ….
A little further in and you get an idea of how treacherous this area of the marshes can be, I think the frost helps to pin point the really wet bits so they are easier to avoid….
The cows were quite late off the marshes this year and where they’ve kicked up and trodden is still very noticeable….the tracks are all muddy and that’s frozen across good and proper. This always makes me think of big pieces of bark, if you’ve ever seen old Yew trees their bark looks just like this, all layers and soft curved edges…..
Ooh but it was cold though, even with fat mittens from Norway on and wrapped up in “the cat blanket” I began to right feel the pip…..it’s hard to walk fast across here as the ground is boggy underneath the frost so you have to step carefully…..once I’d crossed the meadow though I was able to walk a bit faster through the copse behind the golf course, and by the time I got to the shops I was all rosy cheeked and pink nosed…..