This post has been languishing in my 'drafts' folder for over a week.
During the coldest weather we kept the door closed to my study as we've not turned on the electric baseboard heaters. [Its called frugality!]
Being at the farmhouse most of the day means we come 'home' to a chilly house.
I pop in here to load photos to the blog, 'save' and then retreat downstairs to the fire and my laptop, which I set up on the ironing board.
Sadly, the laptop and I have little rapport; it seems very slow and is prone to throwing my carefully typed words back into previously completed sentences.
We are now in warmer weather, my study is habitable, even comfortable with an extra sweatshirt layered on.
On the afternoon in question I was in the farmhouse kitchen, poking at the fire when I heard a dreadful clatter outside.
This was repeated every few seconds.
Standing on the porch, I discovered that icicles were letting go from the overhanging eaves and cracking down onto the porch roof, where they shattered and slid onto the driveway.
Looking down the lane toward the 'big house.'
On the south-facing side of the house it was warm in the sun.
Charlie cat kept me company as I sat on the wall outside the shop and played with the settings on my camera.
[I've had this one for a year--a Canon SX170 IS]
The camera has a number of 'presets'--I mostly use the 'Auto' setting, adding the macro effect for close-ups.
The camera has capabilities for choosing a variety of shutter speed and aperture combinations.
Sadly, I am not clever enough to make use of these.
The camera didn't come with an instruction manual or a disc--I can download a pdf of 'instructions' if I want to learn more about it.
I may have done so on my old PC.
Not much use if I'm outside and need to educate myself about a different setting.
Sitting on the wall, I did experiment with settings, using the zoom to bring in bits
of the surrounding scene.
I can't recall which setting produced the effects I like in the finished photo--hopeless!
Our boundary fence is barely inside the treeline beyond the brook.
Mose Miller kept his carriage horses in the fenced in bit which extends behind the barn [not the barn in this photo] and allowed them to drink from the creek.
I am planning to site my veg garden in the plot between the workshop and the near board fence.
I was interested in the icicles hanging from the bank above the creek, so hoisted myself off the wall and trudged over for a close up.
Green plants and fallen leaves caught beneath icy water.
Beech and oak haven't shed their leaves.
We walked the steep track up the ridge behind the house, Jim at his usual speed, me huffing a bit.
Jim found this vine-wrapped sapling several weeks ago and has trimmed it for a walking stick.
I think it looks a bit like a serpent on a staff!
Another 'home' for a small creature.
A feather caught on a cedar branch.
Back at the farmhouse the kitchen had warmed comfortingly.
Willow-Cat came in with us and sprawled in front of the stove.
Willis, with bits of dry leaf clinging to his fur, has decided that the dining table is the place to be.
When removed he retreats behind the wood range and curls into a stripey ball.
When we leave for the night the cats are rounded up and put outside.
They make their way resignedly to the barn, their dispenser of kibble and the snuggery built of baled hay.
We drive home through ruddy twilight, to stoke the fire at the stone house, make 'tea' for the pride of felines and settle in for the January nights.