All is frozen.  The chickens are bunched together as close as they can on their perch in the shed.  The bees are clustered in a tight ball and are slowly eating their way through their winter stores, their finite gamble of the summer’s hard graft.  Around these pockets of warmth and life, all is frozen.  The ground around the cottage is a sheet of icy glass, beyond that; frozen earth.  Tonight I took a little time to look at the winter sky.  The moon is waning at the moment.  This means that it is hidden away on the other side of the world, and it means the sky is dark and the stars are out.  Orion dominates the winter sky with Taurus.  Cygnus the swan is still there but we forget about her when Orion arrives.  Earlier tonight we fought our way around the town and eventually left it as we spotted Venus and Jupiter as the only lights in the sky.  Tonight Jupiter was still hanging about, a dedicated planet, with her moons visible with the help of binoculars.  The Pleiades were a joy and the red of aldebaran was strangely warming. Not warming enough to linger though, houses are warm in these dark winter nights.

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