After a mild autumn we finally have winter - just too late for Christmas, but welcome all the same. Frost patterns are one of the things I would miss if I lived somewhere it was warm all year round, and two days ago we had an abundance of them. The shot above is our east-facing bedroom window (in Moray, that is - we are here for Christmas), and below is the west-facing window. Broad blades of pattern to the east, and thinner, snaking fronds to the west. I wish I knew why they were different.
The whole geometry of frost was evident all day long. Here are triangles and starbursts captured on a walk by the river.
A different pattern now - the prints of hopeful birds around the back door. My father is now too frail to feed the birds as he used to, and it's hard for us to resist putting out some seeds for them when we're here, even though we know you should only feed them in winter when you can do it regularly.
The snowy Spey valley, looking south to Craigellachie. This is the view from my father's living room window. We fear that one day houses may be built in the adjoining field. I try not to think about it, and to enjoy the view while we have it.
But I also love the view to the west, towards the village. I take these ordinary Scottish houses for granted, and forget that they might be exotic to readers from other countries.
Usually by the time we arrive for Christmas the holly tree has been stripped of berries, but this year the birds have still been finding other food.
Out of the garden now and to a narrow glen behind the village. This is a wild sloe, capped with snow where earlier in the year there was blossom.
Who needs garish artificial Christmas lights when the natural ones are so much more beautiful?
Hoar frost whitens the gravestones of the young Canadian foresters who died here during WW1. As every year, each grave has its Christmas posy of holly and lenten roses.