In the forest yesterday, I made a snow angel in the local bronze age camp under near-blue skies. The bare branches towering cathedral-like above were limned in snow. It picked out each branch and limb of every tree and bush with a precision and clarity which the motley camouflage browns and greens of it never approach on their own.
Today, at Kew Gardens, the whitened grounds were largely empty. I had the entire length of grand walks to myself, and, often enough, the warmth of the larger greenhouses as well. It was soothing to stand in the midst of the Temperate House, alone, small beside the vastness of the Chilean wine palm, while outside, it started to flake for a bit. In one capacious greenhouse room, I was disturbed only by a single large bird tramping up and down the ridge on the roof high above me. At the east end of the park, a carousel pumped out a chirpy, uptempo, music-only cover of The Beatles' "Yesterday". I couldn't find the Winter Garden, presumably because it was not designed to be snowed on.
Are children trained to talk to robins in this country? An alert boy noticed a British robin hopping about the floor of the house imported from Japan that we were all in. "Happy Christmas, Robin!" or "Happy New Year, Robin!" exclaimed the three or four children, each in turn.