Perhaps no month can show so many moods as January,* particularly when we get a taste of real winter as in the past few days.
On a clear crisp morning wave-spray has transformed every twig on the shoreline into a jewel.
Even grains of sand have conspired with the water and the temperature to shape new faces, if only for a day.
On a quiet cloudy morning, though, colours are understated, asking for careful study.
Budding branches await a spring thaw.
Much closer to the ground, a small thistle managed to grow in a thin layer of gravel on the breakwater last summer, and stands strong still.
The January sunlight can be harsh, glancing low across the water through clouds of steam.
The same rays can light mallard feathers into full iridescent glory.
On a clear morning the tones ring out most intensely right around sunrise.
The atmosphere catches colour: in a tiny channel carved through a small shelf of shore ice, soft waves push moist air up against the ice and new designs shape themselves.
Even the rocks get a make-over just for this moment.
Back at home the mid-morning sun thaws a collection of American Bittersweet berries, calling hungry Starlings.
If these berries tasted better they wouldn’t have lasted this long. A flock of Starlings, once they get hungry enough, can polish them off in minutes.
*It’s one of the top twelve, for sure.