One out, all out…
(and they are all out! And the daffodils are joining them! h/t to Mark)
Tristram and I drove down to Kelburn Castle, and it was baltic, with rain almost sleet as we left but we headed from Hamilton towards Largs and occasionally the clouds would break to reveal patches of blue sky. Some sunshine, though lighting the world up far from us. The wind was freezing, even among the trees. Ice lined the puddles of water, though water flowed and rivuleted everywhere down the burn as we climbed it.
It was astounding to see these amazing snowdrops:
Thousands of them. Like these, adorning the banks, among these enormous, ancient trees.
As we walked back to the car park, we passed this last, lone utterly mad daffodil.
In the walled garden there were some beautiful rhododendrons blooming as well — I love walled gardens, what wonderful places they are in this climate! Yet I don’t feel I can count them really.
Beeches, great wonderful trees in lovely woods still carpeted with fall(en) leaves and still only the lightest shading of a new year’s green:
a mist of them through the trees
Somehow they are never as beautiful in pictures as they are when you stand before them and your heart rises. The wild cherry trees are rather more photogenic.
And this, my favourite picture of them all I think.
These are all from the Chilterns, we were staying in Nettlebed for a wedding in Bix stealing the thunder from my birthday. Perhaps my favourite cousin was worth it. I love the chalky hills full of flint, the villages of old brick and flint in patterned beauty. I was hoping to find old chalk cottages but we never managed to get there. Instead we found mansion after mansion, fence after residential fence scattered through hills, and more than one of these new kinds of meadow:
The people were absolutely the least endearing feature of this countryside. Though I will also never forget the cows.
We made it back for wine however.