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. It was a most peculiar light Lisa, really hard to photograph in as the sun and fog overexposed everything, but it was lovely and soft light. And I love finding leaves rimmed with ice like that, though I was surprised to see so many green leaves!

  1. Now this is a proper winter post Jude, and how wonderful we have had frost at long last! I didn’t get a chance to get any photos, but yours are so much better than mine would be anyway, just gorgeous. I feel better just for walking with you on this crisp, frosty afternoon in such glorious surroundings. Thank you 🙂 xx

    1. It was delightful Sherri to get lungfuls of frosty air (though perhaps the fog wasn’t all that healthy). And nice to have you accompany me. Back to normal since… 😦

      1. Oh Jude, I couldn’t get back to blogging no matter how much I tried last week 😦 Sadly, no more frost…more of that normal as you say…be over in a mo 🙂

  2. I could feel the chill in these, Jude. (Very nice leaves indeed!)
    Guess what the weather is today, in ‘England’s Driest County’?
    Waterproofs on for Ollie’s walk soon.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  3. Some of us are good at sharing (hint! hint!) but I do see what you mean about whinging Aussies 🙂 Thank you for plunging me head first into Winter, Jude. Just what I needed! I’m off to print my boarding passes now 🙂

  4. Rime ice leaves is probably my favourite photo of them all, closely followed by the drawbridge. It doesn’t look as if it would carry me across the gap but I’m game to try. 🙂

      1. Not smiling! Just dropped the lid of my slow cooker. Shattered all over the kitchen floor 😦 At least the food didn’t follow it.

        1. Ouch! Good that the food didn’t end up on the floor as well. I have a slate floor and marble worktops – they are not kind to drops!

  5. Such a beautiful start to the year’s challenge! These are actually my favourite fall / winter conditions … no snow, a thin layer of frost on everything, and fog!! LOVE fog and you captured the mood so well! 🙂

    1. I prefer to go out and capture frosty photos as snow usually makes it difficult to walk around plus your fingers freeze even quicker! The freezing fog was a bonus, keeping temperatures low and providing that lovely diffused light.

    1. It was a lovely day, the fog made it all quite surreal, and those benches just kept leaping out shouting “me, me” so I am afraid a few crept in to the post 😉

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