The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 21
The Four Seasons - Winter
"Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone." - Christina Rossetti
We continue our exploration of The Four Seasons with an article and images that are evocative of winter.
Article by Gillian Greenwood
Photographs by Dr. Tim King
In the countryside the air is hoary. The winter mist is a sheet of cloth-like metal; grey and cold, it envelopes the land with an austere opaqueness, cloaking an earth already hardened by frosts. In the woods the trees are bare, branches brittle and spear-like, chiseled like masonry into stiff stone-like forms. Angles are sharp and defined; shapes are hard, uncompromising, bleak. A solitary leaf falls to the ground, a forgotten token from autumn, a momentary fragment of burnished colour. There is a rustle in the undergrowth as the last creature moves with haste into its prepared winter burrow, and then all is silent. The forests of the Northern Hemisphere are frozen and motionless.
In the park the chilled fingers of an icy wind blast through thick scarves and sheepskin coats alike. A fretwork of frost covers the ground and the bushes like thin white muslin, dusting the pathways with a myriad of tiny glittering stones. Puddles and ponds have frozen, and children in red wellington boots skid across their slippery surfaces with laughter and pleasure, letting out a mist of white breath as they exhale; a dog running alongside them barks with delight. On the stiff grass, the last dead leaves of autumn, hardened by a glassy coating, crunch beneath their feet.
In the city couples walk together closely, coats buttoned tightly, footsteps choreographed. They cut through the streets, festive lights illuminating the shops with an other-worldly glow, opulent windows full of forms swathed in velvet, brocade, and bejewelled silks, glossy parcels ribboned and wrapped, colourfully displayed beside them. Christmas trees with flickering bulbs stand like sentinels at the doorways.