From a painter's point of view there is much to be said for winter in Snowdonia - it does not rain all the time, and the somewhat monotonous green of summer is replaced by the copper of dead bracken, the last golden leaves on the trees, and sparkling frost and snow, often highlighted by the pink of sunrise or the low golden-orange evening light as the sun sinks.

Llys Tanwg is an Edwardian house facing, and high above, Cardigan Bay. On an early winters' morning, looking north across the frosty flats of Morfa Harlech, the glow of sunrise slowly works its way down the slopes of the Snowdon range, while on a walk in the foothills of Cadair Idris to the south, there is a need to tread cautiously over frozen puddles with ice in abstract swirls.

Snowdon covers a large part of the Snowdonia National Park. Though now tranquil, it would have been very different in the nineteenth century, when copper, zinc, and lead were mined on its slopes, [remembered in the name of one of the most popular paths - the 'Miners' Track']. Now those miners have gone, but the traces of industrial archeology can inspire a less 'chocolate boxy' and more unusual painting!

Slate quarrying produces a huge amount of spoil, as can be seen on the slopes opposite the town of Llanberis. An ingenious use for some of this was in the creation of slate fences - large thin slabs stuck upright in the ground, held in place by wire twisted round the tops.

Kezia Noel-Paton:


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