I like to get out on New Year's Day, no matter what the weather, and have a walk and take at least one photograph. It's become a bit of a ritual. Today was one of those days which get as close as possible to raining without actually doing so -- bleak, grey, overcast, misty, damp, and cold. What the Scottish call dreich. Lovely.
As no-one else wanted to leave the house, I thought it would be a good day to look for crows. As these short winter afternoons draw to a close, hundreds of crows gather in the sky above Mottisfont Abbey, preparatory to a mass roost in the tall trees there. I like to photograph them, but bright skies make for bad silhouettes and excessive purple fringing around twigs and branches. A dull day, just as the light is failing, is the perfect time. It's the very opposite of that photographers' cliché, the "golden hour" -- the "dismal ten minutes", maybe.
Before the rooks, crows and jackdaws had begun to mass, however, I spotted this at my feet, which seemed somehow a perfectly liminal New Year's Day scene -- clear water pouring over a threshold into a dark turbulence. Despite the low light, I was lucky enough to get a good shot.
There were plenty of crows, eventually, but today the tracery of the trees against the sky was the standout feature.