A Place In Differing Seasons

The place to be described is totally imaginary, although it may bear some resemblance to a childhood memory of yours. The house and surrounding fields and mountains (for it is these I will endeavour to describe in different seasons) are so exquisitely picturesque: The long, wide, oak slatted cabin with the rolling fields stretching far into the distance, and beyond. Behind the house (as I like to call it) is an expanse of some three hundred or so yards before abruptly halting to make way for a stream. The stream is like one time itself forgot, like the one you would expect to find fairies sitting by. Beyond that the vast mountain range, ominous against a clear blue sky and casting definite shadows across the house and fields. The snow-capped peaks are those that I have climbed many a time; and they always seem to be different in contour or shape. There is a beautiful horse chestnut tree just two fields away from the house, and countless others dotted around near it; ash, beech, oak, the list goes on and on. Its wonderfully peaceful up here, no one to disturb you.

In autumn the landscape changes so much, almost too much. The leaves fall off the great oak, and it looks so miserable and bare; I have often thought of wrapping it up in a blanket. The horse chestnut is yielding fruit (if you can call it that). There is nothing I like more than sitting in front of the log fire and roasting horse chestnuts; marvellous. The fields, once, not long ago were teeming with poppies and fit to bursting with rabbits; now are covered in a carpet of dull browny yellow leaves. The mountains are more snowy than usual and look a lot more treacherous. So I hardly ever climb the mountains in autumn or winter. The air has a certain bite to it, is a lot sharper in these cold months. The house looks so much like the woods and leaves that surround it; you would have to look hard to even find it. I t is also, unsurprisingly, a lot colder than it is in summer so it is always welcoming to come home to find the fire still going after a day of walking or hunting or fishing down at the lake. The stream ends up a few hundred yards downstream, flowing into a large lake. In case you were wondering where the stream comes from, it trickles down from the mountains, fuelled by the rain that often frequents my habitat. The lake is a marvel in itself. I call it the eighth wonder of the world. I fish for everything and anything and I am not fussy about what I catch; theres always something new.

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In winter all the trees and fields are bare, and both covered by dewy, frosty cobwebs made by early, busy spiders. The webs are everywhere, its magical, as if a huge spider came along in the night and made a patchwork quilt to keep the grass warm. Everything is frosty and the house looks bare and out of place in this stark wilderness that is my home. I dont seem to have mentioned my only other companion; he is called Dog. I have to admit that I wasnt in a particularly imaginative mood when I named him, and certainly not for naming puppies. So I called him Dog, he liked it and it stuck. I found him when he was a puppy in the middle of the woods; he was obviously the runt of the litter and was left behind. We go everywhere together; you could say that we were inseparable, he certainly thinks that. Dog and I go skating on the lake, now that it is completely iced over. It is much too cold to hunt and all the animals are hibernating, but I should have enough meat to see us through until the spring. The mountains behind the house seem bigger and more alive than ever, casting long shadows over nearly everything; engulfing the whole landscape; house, trees, fields, all. It snows a lot now, and the house is sometimes blanketed in a layer of thick,


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