Winter 23: through December to early New Year //

Though the winter months mostly suffered from sterile light through the constant presence of grey drizzle and relentless, heavy winds, there were odd short periods when the cold fell low enough to provide blue-skied, icy days and occasionally even snowflakes. These photographs were taken from December through to the close of February. They seek to demonstrate that the effort to trek out in uncertain weather, with fingers numbing and stillness difficult, is often rewarded by the glimpse of a setting which one hadn't foreseen and which may never be repeated. From the last gleamings of autumnal leaves to the biting freshness of frost, ice and snow the winter light and the seemingly empty landscape combine to provide simple images which, perhaps, demonstrate winter's unheralded beauty. In the first photograph a tree stands at the end of an open field surrounded by apricot-coloured grasses and frost-covered gorse. Hidden behind the tree stands the valley which holds the village of Grindleford.
A pale white frost brightens the subdued foreground, whilst a swirl of pinks, lilacs and vibrant oranges illuminate the background mountains and the sky which shrouds them.
A banana yellow van and a copse of Silver Birch trees.
Above stands a lone tree silhouetted against the earliest signs of a sunrise as the temperature shudders to -6 degrees. Enter stage left on the hill's edge are the additional silhouettes of two red deer
Snow-covered grasses off Owler Bar Road
Looking westwards from the walk to Barber Booth
Along the Hathersage Road only a few sheep are feeding as the crisp air is gently warmed by the rising sun
The last of the fading afternoon sunlight sends a final gleam of light before the darkening clouds encroach to light up a field against which stands the silhouette of a single, gnarled tree below the path to Barber Booth
The spectral greyness of morning mist is interrupted by the reflection of a tightly packed congregation of pale golden grasses emerging from a lake.
Walking the dog up Cat Bells
Frost, the seasonal colour of mistletoe berries, has the grasslands to itself, save for the huddle of three tiny, leafless trees wondering how they found themselves alone in this place
Like a scene from the American dust bowl, White Edge Lodge stands isolated, save for two crooked, angular, hunched scraps of trees in its foreground
Morning light and the last gasp of the colours of autumn
2 ducks stand at the end on an empty jetty as early morning mist shrouds the hills by the side of Derwent Water
A broken tree in a swirl of snowflakes as a lone rambler passes by
A distant Win Hill surrounded by the beauty of late afternoon colour as cotton wool clouds trail below a winter blue sky
Against the darkening weight of a winter's late afternoon taking its toll on the last of the day's sunlight, the bare skeleton of a tree stands arched and alone
A white carpet of sunlight leads to an isolated tree in a frost tinted field
A dog walker alone at Padley Gorge, viewed from Main Road
Before the sun has risen, the frost and 3 wintered trees occupy a field by the Longshaw Estate
Above the outskirts of Bamford a splash of sunlight falls on a single field below the road leading to Bamford Edge.
Headlights from a single car provide the only light on the road through the Chatsworth Estate but cannot distract from the skeletal beauty of a snow-covered plant standing upright in an adjoining field
Standing observing the low lying clouds is a mass of burnt yellow grasses
Mist falling in the mid-morning as a flock of birds ascend
The first snow of the year leaves 4 small silver birch trees standing exposed to the surrounding whiteness
The inimitable wonder of clouds above the road to Sparrowpit witnessed from Mam Tor in the later part of the afternoon.
4 trees standing by Far Lane with a cloud formation, both bellicose and colossal
An auburn coloured tree and a strip of bright sunlight by White Edge
6 Silver Birch trees in the foreground as a background of waves of black and white clouds almost overwheln the last of the blue of the afternoon sky.
From the boarding station across Derwent Water as the morning mist envelops the surrounding hills
On the descent from Bamford Edge towards the Ladybower Dam one walks adjacent to a strangled forest of lichen-green trees and dark shadows.
A red deer watches as the brightness of the morning sun illuminates the grasslands adjacent to White Edge.
Late afternoon and the last of the sun catches the tower of the Hope Valley works as the foreground darkens
The field behind a white farmhouse lit by a shaft of sunlight
A single silver birch tree takes centre stage with 3 backing singers.
Towards the TV mast at Bretton across a collection of pale green and dusted white fields backlit by a pink, Sahara yellow and the palest blue coloured sky
Speckles of white sheep are dotted on the darkened hillside as the last of the afternoon sunlight is squeezed between it and the deepening French Blue clouds
Looking northwards from the peak of Win Hill where the temperature was -11 degrees.The sunlight illuminating the brown and orange spectrums of colour surrounding the isolated farm buildings below.
During a storm of snowflakes 2 walkers add colour of red and blue to the whiteness of the surroundings to the village of Edensor.
A huddle of leafless trees enclosed within a walled space at High Cliffe on the way to Bretton
Abandoned fence posts with fallen wire lie frost-covered on the hillside above Grindleford
With Medusa-like branches stretching achingly towards the heavens, a lone tree seeks to escape from the surrounding darkness in the forest by Bamford Edge
The moon emerges a little early before the sun has departed to wait tentatively amidst the drifts of cloud above Win Hill
Tangled, moss-covered trees stretching for space above Padley Gorge
Walking alone at the setting of the sun
The track from White Edge towards Owler Bar Road with a Hoar Frost clinging to the grasses and small trees nearby
Blue/grey smoke, hoar frost, the Fountain flowing and a fallow deer sprinting on the Chatsworth Estate.
Hoar frost is painted over the architecturally fascinating homes and church spire of Edensor as the sun appears at first light.