On Thursday at 5:30 am the sun will be at its furthest distance from the earth and the winter solstice will occur. The sun barely gets above the trees and all life seems to have departed from the earth, even the birds are quiet.
The pond looks dead but a few bubbles in the ice may be from some frogs escaping the cold by staying at the bottom of the pond.
The cold is important for many plants to germinate and to create buds for fruiting next year
Beech seeds freed from their cases, split by the frost.
Life continues below ground and worms pull the decaying leaves underground in order to eat them
This leaf hangs mysteriously from a spider's thread
But after only 7hours the sun is already going down
The earliest sunset was on Dec 13th, so the evenings are already getting lighter - however sunrise continues to get later until Jan 1st.