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Winter in Norfolk

What could be more beautiful than a wide summer sunset over the North Norfolk coast, or a gorgeously lush canopy of green against a deep blue sky?

Answer: the stark silhouette of a battered tree against a backdrop of snow. The naked branches, sharp and rigid, tear into the soft white sky. The line between ground and sky undulates in long waves of silence, its soft subtlety belying the harshness of winter.

Another answer: empty beach huts standing in a row, wearing caps of snow. They are frozen in time, staring blindly out to sea … waiting. Behind them, a muted sky shows off its many shades of soft grey.

Another answer: a moment when everyone is happy. Adults abandon themselves to the joys of snow, and children melt into a rare freedom. Even from a distance, the energy is almost tangible. A bench stands empty; there’s a pink glow in the west, but nobody wants to go home.

High tide on a windy winter day on the North Norfolk coast – you can’t beat it! ‘Dodging the spray’ (an inaccurately named game) provides tonnes of fun for everyone. The waves are hurling themselves over the promenade, and the idea of the game is to run along the prom, avoiding a complete soaking. However, there’s no fun in avoidance, so the game’s a short one. Bright-eyed, shivering and spitting brine, everyone plods off home to get warm and dry.

On a cold, clear morning, fields of ploughed earth are iced with sparkling frost, and electricity pylons stand guard over the dormant beds of future crops. In towns and villages, Christmas lights dangle prettily. But there are times when they’re hurled about by a gale, thrashing the air like trapped fireflies, fighting against their tethers.

In Norfolk, the average temperature during the winter months (December, January and February) is between 1º C and 8º C. On average, 32 days of those three months are rainy days. So a run-of-the-mill Norfolk winter is mild and wet. What is there to get excited about?

Answer: an endless black sky eating up the sea. It suffocates the world with its sickening movement, the deep black holes swallowing the light. The sea scrambles onto the beach, only to slide back towards the sky – over and over again in a steady rhythm.

Another answer: a winter sunset over the Broads. The black water is full of dark clouds, their pink highlights floating to the surface. A tree burns angry yellow on the bank; above it, wisps of dark cloud hang like smoke. A windmill reaches for the sky in imperious silhouette – but its time is gone.

Paul Macro Photography captures the beauty of winter, creating from one moment a treasure that lasts forever. What could be better than that?

Answer: nothing