Winter’s End

It’s at this time of year – late March through April – that our world is at its most tired: the ice and snow have mostly retreated to the high corries but, beyond the newly emergent Daffodils and tired Snowdrops, there’s been little new growth. Our trees remain resolutely bare, grasses and sedges haven’t yet sprung into life, with just the yellowed skeletons of last year’s growth covering the landscape. This winter’s storms and record water levels have also taken their toll of the Beech trees that line the banks of Loch Voil, which now provide a natural obstacle course for our daily lochside walks. But there’s still a stark beauty to everything, whether the filigree of branches outlined through the mists or the bare bones of the countryside thrown into sharp contrast when the sun finally comes out.