Now when you're in a place like Wales you get to thinking a lot about sheep and shepherds. These days most shepherds don't live the kind of treacherous and tedious lives they once did (not so many years ago!) but it can still be a lonely kind of occupation, and certainly a cold and wet kind of job much of the year. I'm not sure if the sheep care, really....but for an outsider like me I still think a herd of sheep can be a lovely sight.
I made this photo several years ago when I awoke to find the land under the enchantment of a serious hoarfrost. I pulled on my boots and all the warm clothes I could find and walked up and up and up the lane until I got about as high as I could get around here. Stopped for a breather and spied these sheep huddled up together feeding. It was a lovely sight on a perfect, crispy morning.
The photo on the right is that of a fantastic stained glass window that can be seen in the Elan Valley at the church there by the dam, Nantgwyllt. It's well worth a visit.
Hopefully this winter will bring another hoarfrost; we haven't had one in three years or so. All the branches and grasses and hedges and fences and, well, everything, are painted in a layer of white ice crystals.
When I'm out following the hunt, you might think that sights like this could become dull but in six years I've never found anything but delight in the sight of sheep grazing a hillside with a patchwork of hills and fields, hedges and fern, trees and gorse, as a backdrop.