No photograph for this, I'm afraid, so I've used a woodcut by one of my favourite wildlife artists, Andrew Waddington. You can find out more about his work here: http://www.andrewwaddington.co.uk
A Winter Night
The crescent cradle of the new-born moon
Hangs low amongst surrounding stars
In a bell-clear, iron winter sky,
Illuminating, fitfully and with pale half-light,
The frozen, snow-clad shadowlands
Of hedge and field and tree.
Under the protection of ice-dusted ivy
That thickly masks old, crumbling walls,
A muffled blackbird sleeps alone
With feathers fluffed against the cold.
No breathe of wind disturbs the sparkling blanket
That covers every branch and twig
Of dormant willow, sycamore and oak.
Nor does man or beast disturb the stillness
Except, in passing, one indignant owl
Whose cries complain at the fruitlessness
Of foraging in a bare and icy larder.
It seems as if the earth itself is fresh and clean,
Newly-made and not yet totally complete.
This is what it would be like
If the long-forgotten pureness of spirit
And peaceful sanctuary stillness
That used to dwell in what men called their souls
Could be turned into a world.
And if the heavens were as still,
And time itself was frozen like the land,
This is what it would be like forever.