Here at Lower House we're in the clouds today - from down in Welshpool, Long Mountain looked less like a mountain and more like a crouching white cat. The temperature has dropped to a chilly 2 degrees celsius. Brrrrr. Not long now until the winter solstice on the 21st and the days will start 'drawing out' - imperceptably, but 'drawing out' nonetheless. Hoorah.
Today a combination of fog and diminishing day length has meant a particulary claustrophic atmoshere. The landscape is barely revealed, ghostly shapes and skeletal trees emerge as the mist ebbs and flows. At one point the sun almost burnt through the cloud and we were lit by a glorious pearly light. But for too short a time, the sun lost the battle and gloom descended once more.
In the dying light at the end of the afternoon - the dogs and I went down to check on the hens. They were still scratching around after the last of the worms and grubs before going to roost. The dogs raced around the dingle - Chester in pursuit of pheasants which were coming to roost in our trees out of reach of Charlie's tooth and claw. They are, of course, slightly brighter than a galumphing dog and perch high above his head where he can't see them. His hyper-sensitive nose tells him they're there alright and he stands below the tree whining and yelping.
Our Christmas tree stands down the dingle too - waiting to be hauled indoors. It's a Scots Pine - which one day will be planted out - not a conventional tree, but quite a dramatic shape which will look well draped in simple white lights. If we can get it in that is. It's quite tall. The sort of tree you might find a squirrel in. That would be sport for dogs.....