Thursday was clear and snow crystalised like winter in the south. The Tarrens blushed rose as we walked down the long and stony track from Giles and Helen’s, full of good coffee and feeling continental among the cowboy hills. By late afternoon I was brambling under a powder dusk moon, hoiking them out of the ditch, untangling them from hazel whips and wild roses and blackthorn. I’ve made a big scratchy heap for burning, and the water runs clear in the culvert.

SaltingsFriday, snow still graced the hills. At RSPB Ynys-hir the sky stretched pale and white over the Dyfi. The wetland was semi frozen like Siberian perma frost, ice crisp then yielding underfoot to squishmud. The birds were not afraid of my scarlet snow trousers. A pair of tree creepers weebled up the oaks, reed buntings accompanied me along the sedge, and a goldcrest a-blur in the brambles, was unperturbed.

In Saltings hide you can look out across the estuary, or inland over the marsh. It is built from strong wood and has a subtle scent of something old and secret, like a Japanese temple. From here I saw an egret fly, white as the hills behind it.