It is marvellous weather – brilliant sunshine on the snow, clear as summer, slightly golden sun, distance lit up. But it is immensely cold – everything frozen solid – milk, mustard, everything. Yesterday I went out for a real walk – I’ve had a cold and been in bed. I climbed with my niece to the bare top of the hills. Wonderful it is to see the foot-marks on the snow – beautiful ropes of rabbit prints, trailing away over the brows; heavy hare marks; a fox so sharp and dainty, going over the wall: birds with two feet that hop; very splendid straight advance of a pheasant; wood-pigeons that are clumsy and move in flocks; splendid little leaping marks of weasels coming along like a necklace chain of berries; odd little filagree of the field-mice; the trail of a mole – it is astonishing what a world of wild creatures one feels about one, on the hills in snow. – D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), English novelist and poet (in 1919)
From: The English Year from Diaries and Letters, compiled by Geoffrey Grigson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 20-21. The extract is from The Letters of D. H. Lawrence.