As the dark green gorse begins to clothe its spiky tips in gold and the daffodils wave their sunshine as we pass, it is time to say goodbye to Winter. She has been long and hard, the chill winds and frozen ground persevering and forbidding new life. The delicate heads of snowdrops dared not show their beauty until mid February and have only just allowed their white petals to shrivel and drop; the hedgerows have only just begun to be peppered with acid green specks, the hopeful sign of gentler things to come.
But though Winter was long, its frost and snow blanketed the hills and dales in monochrome memories and silent stillness. At times the views were sublime: dark lace trees etched against a setting sun, white fields strewn with golden hay to feed the hardy sheep; the laughter of sledging, the crunch of snow and ice under foot and tyre. And before we forget all this completely as the new season sheds its winter coat and new scents and sounds fill the softening air, I hope the pictures below will capture some special moments of the departing season.