Near the frozen ponds I spotted a roe deer resting on the snow at the edge of the woods. A heron flew over the ice without settling at any of its favourite fishing spots.
Yesterday, as the snow and ice melted and water vapour wrapped the trees in a gentle mist, our walking group set out on a circuit of the Surrey Hills to celebrate the midwinter festival. We trudged past a field of rabbits, so intent on grazing the first patches of grass emerging in the thaw, they didn't seem to notice our presence.
Starkness gives winter a quiet beauty. A time of reflection perhaps, before life re-emerges from the cold dark earth in spring. I'm reflecting on the changes at the pond below - photographed yesterday and in mid-May.