Today before it got dark, we strode over the sodden field, down the hill towards the mist over the big pond. The field and the forest and the road and the sky were all muted grey and brown. Usually at this time, at the very least there is a bit of snowfall on the ground, and the temperature freezes your fingers and nose. This year it’s all drizzle and grey, melting into darkness in the mid-afternoon. I don’t actually mind it at all – there is a quiet beauty to it, if you are brave and rugged-up enough to venture out into the elements. The landscape is dreamlike in the fog, droplets of rain speckle the otherwise still water on the pond, the far end is shrouded in white. Trees reflect black in the water, and sounds seem muffled and distant – a car engine, the occasional crack of a hunter’s rifle.