Winter Respite

Last week, from a train window, I gazed at snow coating the fields, reflecting cold light back onto a grey, February sky. A classic winter scene. When I arrived in Oxford, the snow was nowhere to be found, though the air remained frosty and the impressive college architecture seemed to echo a seasonally-approriate chilly solemnity.

IMAG0471

The highlight of this quick day trip was certainly the opportunity to meet and catch up with sister-in-law Kate! A wonderful, and all-too-brief, treat.

Afterwards, I wandered down High Street to find the University’s Botanic Garden. Many plants in the outdoor beds were still sleeping, but harbingers of spring provided elegant splashes of color.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

A distinctly unseasonal treat awaited me inside the glass houses where warm, moist air enveloped leafy fronds of jungle foliage –

IMAG0478Where crops were ready to harvest –

Cotton plant

Cotton plant

And ripe fruit (in season?) tempted the passerby.

IMAG0476In the next room, dry heat (equally exotic) bathed cacti and aloes of all shapes and sizes –

IMAG0474I thoroughly enjoyed the brief encounter with exotic climes – just a short train journey away. Now back to ordering and chitting potatoes and pruning fruit bushes. Spring is coming!

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