Blue sky and ice crystals- Mudgee in winter

On the central ranges of New South Wales you can choose your favourite from two types of winter morning: the ones like today, dawning crystal clear, a bright blue sky appearing as the sunrise colours fade, or still, and shrouded in mist, with the promise of bright blue sky to come once the mist burns off. Admittedly there’s a third type of morning, very rare, which is everyone’s favourite: the mornings when it’s raining.

In winter I head east from Mudgee in the dawn light, and drive to work along one of the loveliest stretches of road anywhere in the world. That half hour journey is my opportunity to absorb the mood and beauty of the countryside in winter. I arrive at work feeling serene and focussed.

Yesterday was one of the straight-up sunny mornings. The lingering autumn foliage was illuminated by the sunbeams which lit up the frosty grass and provided warmth for the cattle after the long cold night.
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But my favourite winter mornings are the calm and quiet ones. I love the drama of the  skeletal deciduous trees, the swathes of mist nestling in the undulations of the land, the banks of tall frosted grasses lining the roadsides. The unclad willows looking like delicate crystal chandeliers.


Last July, after weeks of driving past this willow, I found a safe place to park and took a closer look. As I approached the tree, I realised what I was seeing- perfectly formed ice crystals arrayed along the slender, ropy tresses of the willow stems.


What resulted was one of my favourite photos ever.


Winter is my favourite season in Mudgee.

Tell me, what do you love about the countryside in winter, where you live?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Fabulous photography and wonderful words that capture the little slice of heaven that we live in! Well done, Mel

    1. My Dream Garden says:

      Thanks very much Mel!

  2. Mudgee in winter is undeniably lovely in your photos! Gore, Southland, New Zealand is yuk. We get rain every day and grey cloud cap most days. Very little sun. My favourite treat is to sit by a fire with a hot beverage or perhaps a mulled wine. (This only happens occasionally as our rented house is heated by heat pump so its a going-out treat). Can’t wait for spring!

    1. My Dream Garden says:

      My commiserations on your plight! At least you have the occasional consolations of the fire and hot chocolate! I hope spring arrives early for you!

      1. Thanks 🙂 Make the most of your favourite time of year – I’m envious!

  3. tonytomeo says:

    That looks so much colder than I would have expected for your region. Adelaide is farther south, but is supposed to have a climate that is similar to here! If it gets that cold in Mudgee, it must get quite cold in Adelaide as well! Our winters are just cool enough to grow several cultivars of apples and pears that require chill, but not cool enough for northern cultivars that do better in Washington and Oregon. Snow falls only on the very tops of the surrounding mountains, and rarely lasts for more than a day. Almost all of the newspapers that I write for happen to be in the same climate zone, just farther down south. San Francisco and Beverly Hills (in the region of Los Angeles) have different climates. San Francisco has milder summers. Beverly Hills has very mild winters. Only two cultivars of apple will produce there, and neither of them are very good. I do happen to like Southern California, but winter is very boring there. There are so many different climate zones here. When I live in town on the ‘inside’ rain shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains, I got about a foot of rain. I got about three feet of rain just a few miles away, on the ‘outside’. I am looking at a winter home in Trona, which gets about four inches of rain annually. The homes are equipped with roofs only for shade.

    1. My Dream Garden says:

      Hi Tony, whilst Adelaide is much farther south, our elevation here is about 400m higher than Adelaide, at 450m. So Adelaide is not as cold as Mudgee. On the hills in the broader region around Mudgee, which are up to 650m high, snow falls every year, in small amounts. Your region and surrounds with their diverse climate zones sound fascinating.

      1. tonytomeo says:

        It is why the entertainment industry known affectionately as ‘Hollywood’ is here. There is such diversity of scenery within a reasonable drive from where the studios are located. (It started in Niles, and then moved to the Hollywood region about the time movies got sound.)

  4. Christine says:

    Melbourne is famous for being cold, but I don’t think it is as cold here as it is in Mudgee. Yesterday morning was icy, frost on the ground, about 1 degree where I am , but became the most beautiful day. Today was windy so not as cold, but not the gorgeous sunshine of yesterday. I have been told that there can be a sprinkle of snow here, not every winter, but every couple,of years.
    I have the fire smouldering all day and night, nice and cosy.

    But I can’t wait for spring.! The Cotinus and Maple are beautiful.
    Stark at this time of year, waiting to burst into leaf and shelter the house from the harshness of the summer sun.
    Weeping cherries , so old , with huge trunks.
    And then all of my fruit and nuts will flower and hopefully set the summer crop I have been looking forward to.
    I have been planting flowering shrubs to attract the bees to help pollination,
    When you have a garden there is always lots to look forward to.

    1. My Dream Garden says:

      Your place sounds amazing! Just perfect for you. I can’t wait to see it. How lovely to have the fire, and weeping cherries to look forward to. J

    2. My Dream Garden says:

      I just looked up Cotinus as I’v not heard of it before. What a dramatic looking plant! J

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