In terms of scenic beauty, today must be one of the finest days I have seen.
We had a very hard frost overnight. By tenn’ish, the sun had got up but was still very low and slanting. The temperature was about 2 degrees Centigrade.
There was a blue sky that I can only describe as better than Arizona. A really brilliant mid-blue. Other than a few aircraft con-trails, it was completely clear. This meant that the brilliance of the sun was made much sharper. One could literally see for miles. A couple of aircraft went over and added more pin sharp white tracks so there was little wind at high level. It was so clear that I could see the aeroplane itself.
Up in the hills, the low sun meant that some parts of a field would be in bright sunlight and others still frosty in the shadows. The grass was brilliant verdant green. Footpaths and sheep-walks drew a delicate tracery that made some green fields look like lace. Where there were streams, they were mirror black or sparkling gold if the sunshine glanced off. Trees were shown in sharp contrast. In some areas of roadside woodland that are normally just dense blackness, the searchlight effect of the sun brought out the tangled trunks and undergrowth.
Most farmers have put everything to rights for the winter so the fields were, in the main, cleared with hedges neatly trimmed. The bushes in the hedges were gold, copper or black and grew in random sequences. Some sheep were still out and they were just little white blobs with very clearly defined shadows. The male pheasants were stalking about with their colours like jewellery. Other birds were flying and making dense black shapes against the perfect sky. The air itself was crisp – breathing in was like taking a strong nip of whiskey.