Yesterday the forecasters had offered us exactly half a day of sun after days of rain and before more days of the same. We, of course, rushed out to make best use of it, feeling a bit like the prisoners in Fidelio as they blunder and grope out into the light.

It was indeed a beautiful morning but I was not prepared to find much of the field between us and the river covered in what seemed like rather exquisite calligraphy. In fact of course the ground was waterlogged and the excess water had not yet seeped into the ground. These shallow puddles had frozen overnight and were now melting at such a speed that, had I turned up with my camera half an hour later, there would have been nothing to photograph.

How I love the patterns of Nature!