Monthly Photo Challenge: Frosty January

I was beginning to think I would never get any frost or snow photos of Ludlow. The last time I saw a really hard hoar-frost was several years ago. Then on Wednesday I awoke to a beautiful softly coloured sunrise – and frost!


Not only was there a hard frost, but also fog diffusing light. An ideal time to grab the camera and wander down by the river.

Date: January 20 2016
Weather: cold, freezing fog, but sunny
Temperature: Cold (0°C)
Time: 13:20 – 14:25 PM

Excited by the thought that I might find some rime ice on leaves and trees I first went down to the river by the Mill Weir, where I hoped to get a view of the river and the trees along the Breadwalk. Because the sun was coming from my left, the trees were in darkness with just a glimmer of gold on my side of the river.

Mill Weir
Mill Weir

The frozen spiders’ webs were beautiful in their intricacy. Of the spiders there was no sight. Leaves looked as though they had been dipped in sparkling castor sugar.

rime ice leaves
rime ice leaves

I made my way down Camp’s Lane to the river at Dinham bridge. The low-slung sun and the fog created a softly focused golden light. Everything in the shade was cold and dark, whereas in the sunlight everything was warm looking. Don’t be fooled by that deep blue sky and warm red brick. It. was. cold.

Camp's Lane
Camp’s Lane heading to the river and common
Sunlight on the bridge
Sunlight on the bridge – trees on Whitcliffe common
Crepuscular rays
Crepuscular rays

The trees, dusted with icing-sugar, sparkle as the sun’s rays reach them.

Dinham Bridge
Dinham Bridge

As the weather had been very wet in recent weeks I did not want to walk around the common or the river and it was too late now to capture the view of Ludlow in the frost. I went to see the ducks who were busy arguing down by the Millennium Green, shoving and pecking each other to get to the bread being distributed by one hardy family out in the cold.

Dinham Weir
Dinham Weir
Fog on the river
Fog on the river

I decided to walk back to the town via the castle which was now bathed in sunlight. Despite it being only early afternoon, the long shadows made it feel much later. Frost still clung to those places untouched by the sun.

Long shadows
Rime iced leaves
Rime iced leaves
Sunlight and shade
Sunlight and shade
Castle walls and arch
Castle walls and arch

The castle garden, with its benches and lime trees, was empty apart from the young couple (seen above) who were cuddled up together on one of the benches – I don’t expect the seat was very warm!

Where the sun had reached the whippy branches of the linden trees the frost was thawing and sparkling diamonds of water dripped to the ground. My lips were blue, my fingers numb. Time to head for home and a mug of hot chocolate with a large tot of brandy.

The Cardinal is continuing his photo project throughout 2016 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Read his blog for the new rules this year (he is running two versions) and to view his interpretation and those of other participants.

And because I haven’t quite finished my next post about Shrewsbury I shall link this to Jo’s Walks. I’m sure the Cardinal and Jo don’t mind sharing 🙂

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

87 thoughts on “Monthly Photo Challenge: Frosty January”

  1. At first I was going to congratulate you on being out so early in the day and then I went back to the top to check – it was afternoon. Here, if we do actually get a frost which only happens a couple of times each winter, it’s all gone by 8am. Such a gorgeous landscape but even looking at it makes me feel chilled.

    1. I intended to get out earlier than I did, but it was still very foggy and freezing cold so I waited until the sun had some warmth in it, and I am so glad that I did. I knew there would be frost lingering as a lot of the river is in shade at this time of the year.

    1. If we could have winters like this, cold but dry, then I wouldn’t mind so much. I once lived in Johannesburg where winters were perfect. Cold and frosty in the morning, by 11 am you were in a jumper, by 2 pm in a T-shirt, then at 4 pm the temperatures plummeted again. But the days were bright and sunny with blue, blue skies. The Cape on the other hand was just like England. Wet and grey…

  2. I raced over here because you said snow. Where’s the snow?? 😦

    [grumble grumble]

    Oh, okay. So these are really impressive photos of frost, I’ll give you that. Like, they’re really beautiful. And yes, not as exciting because we do get frost here but as previously pointed out, never in the afternoon so a little bit exciting. [wails] But I wanted to see snoooooowwwwww!

    1. Golly and you call US whinging POMS! I did say frost OR snow! You’ll have to head to Washington D.C. for the snow I’m afraid. All I can offer you is rain. Lots of it. I haven’t seen any proper snow since 2011, but I might have one or two photos of it.

      And anyway, you shouldn’t be racing about anywhere yet!

      1. Yeah, racing was an overstatement. Slow meander would be more accurate.

        I saw a photo of Central Park in NYC covered in snow today and so wanted to be there. But maybe not running 18km training for a half-marathon.

  3. Beautiful shots, we have had hardly no frost here in Ireland yet, just rain and wind! It must have been a cold day if the frost was still there late afternoon…brrrr!

    1. Well, I call this early afternoon (I’m not a morning person) and I knew the frost would still be around as most of the ground I covered is in the shade at this time of year. The sun doesn’t get very high and the hill and forest behind shade the riverside. It was freezing out there, but so lovely to be outside in the sunshine.

  4. super, the patience paid off Jude – you had a perfect day for some amazing photos. everything is so nice – the fog, the light, the frost…. but I have NEVER seen a frozen spider web. amazing.

    1. There were dozens of the spider webs, but so hard to photograph! It would have been better had the sun reached that spot to provide more light and sparkle, but I was quite excited to see them!

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