I headed out into snowy Blenheim twice today, once for an early morning run (the cross-country spikes really come into their own on the compacted snow) and then this afternoon for a walk with the boyfriend. I hadn't thought that the later walk could match the early run in the quiet park, when I had just the pheasants, sheep, and a low-flying red kite for company, but it bettered it.
The frozen lake was just stunning close up with the ice a dozen different shades of glassy green.
Then, as if that wasn't enough a white shape ghosted out from amongst the trees on the far side of the lake and we had the treat of watching a barn own hunting in daylight (it was about 3pm) for at least 5 minutes. It flew back and forth across the lake and even landed a few metres ahead of us on the path at one point. I knew that my chances of getting a picture (white bird, white background) were slim but I just kept clicking the button and I managed to get lucky (even more lucky than just seeing it, I mean).
I can't tell you how privileged I feel to have had such a wonderful view of this beautiful bird.
Finally, we passed this snowy family on our way back home.
I think they're disappointed having read the sign (left) saying that the Palace and Courtyard aren't open to the public!