It was a cold day so I bundled up in lots of layers, smothered in scarves, fumbling in gloves. The sky was clear but the backsunded areas had been white with hoar frost for three days, picking out every winter twig in encrusted filigree. The ground was hard.
A stone bridge over the stream was treacherously white and I crossed cautiously, shivering at just the thought of getting wet in such icy conditions. I walked down to an inlet of the reservoir where duck scooted about below the willows, drawing ripples into the faultless surface. In the stillness their various voices and the qualities of their different splashes were accentuated; a small sploosh as a little grebe dived below the surface, a ruffled boil when a group of mallard took flight.