A cold start in the Forest

I had been meaning to get out into the forest to capture a crisp frosty morning all winter, but for one reason or another never managed it. This particular week in January started with a visit to Shatterford, and failure: not only was there nothing particularly wintry about the scene but heavy flooding stopped me from venturing too far. The next morning I didn’t go out as the forecast was for much the same – big mistake as even at home in Southampton it was a frost apocalypse. When I woke up on Thursday there didn’t seem much hope for a good morning – cloudy, not cold enough – but I decided to go out anyway.

I had decided to go to Busketts Lawn, a wide expanse of grassland bordered by trees and pierced by a small stream. Situated in Woodlands just outside Ashurst, this was a place I’d last been to about ten years ago with friends when we were looking for a feature appearing on an OS map as Little Stubby Hat. I’m not sure that we ever found the Hat. Arriving at the car park with frost all around, it was obvious that I’d made a good decision in fighting the urge to go back to bed. It was a very crisp morning; the grass crunched and cracked underfoot and the saturated ground was littered with thin sheets of ice wherever there had been standing water, from icy footprints to frozen layers encasing blades of grass. The ever-present treeline hid the sun as it pulled itself over the horizon, but the fragile pink sky whispered of its approach.

On the way back I drove through Lyndhurst and had to make an unscheduled stop at Bolton’s Bench to capture some amazing winter colours. Now a few hours after dawn, the blanket of clouds lent the horizon a soft yellow colour, turning everything to ethereal pastel shades of pink and pale sage.

Here are some of my favourite shots from the morning. If you’d like to see a little more of my work, head on over to my Flickr profile.

Bartley Cricket Club in frozen lockdown

Dawn in Busketts Wood

Red sky of a New Forest morning

Pony, stream and Busketts Lawn

Frozen ground

A winter's day dawns on Lyndhurst

January New Forest morning

Lyndhurst Cricket Pavilion on a winter morning

Horizon stacks

Stacked logs

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