Midwinter in the forest

Hi folks!  I try to go for what I call a photowalk every week - somewhere in the open countryside, taking my photography gear in case I find a good photo opportunity, but even if I don't, I'm out in the fresh air enjoying the outdoors.  In recent months the beautiful hills of the Peak District have been my usual location, but yesterday I took a fancy to the deep woods.  The forecast was for a cold but sunny day, and on the journey I visualised a particular scene - the midwinter sun breaking through tree branches and illuminating the woodland floor.  Don't know why - it was just a haunting dreamlike image in my head.  I knew just the place, the thick woodland around Padley Gorge near Grindleton, and I even had some particular tall trees in mind - I'd passed them a few weeks ago en route to the photogenic long-abandoned millstones in Bole Hill Quarry.  One or two walkers passed by in the distance, but I was well off the trails, and mostly I had the entire place to myself.  I set up my camera on its tripod, arranged my settings and then I just had to wait for the sun to do its bit.  This was no great hardship!  I sat on a log, drinking coffee from my thermos and relaxing in the peace and silence. Not a bad way to spend a sunny winter afternoon...   Afterwards I thought I'd walk over to Bole Hill Quarry, this time to look at the amazing groves of tall silver birch trees which cluster there.  I'd been trying for a long time to come up with a way of capturing their enormous slender height, but it just doesn't come over in a picture.   Then I hit on the idea I'd used for photographing the Eiffel Tower:  lie on my back and point a wide angle lens upwards...  The icy blue sky made a perfect background for the silver trees...