Stepping out of the door this morning to -14 degrees Celcius (7 Fahrenheit), gently stung. Crisp cool air brushed my face and rushed my lungs. It invigorated me while the sunshine blinded me.
It's the first real cold we've had so far this winter and a reminder of all the still, freezing cold days we've had the last 5 years here at Skeffling Lavender Farm. In the distance, from the barn, I heard my chorus of roosters. They know the sound of the house door slamming closed on its spring.
The aroma of sweet maple woodsmoke greeted me after a second. Burning in our wood furnace, white smoke curled out of the central chimney. It smelled like summer campfires, cosy warmth and a stack of maple syrup drizzled pancakes.
The barn smells better in winter, less ripe, and more of the animals than their manure. Chickens held close just have a clean dusty smell like a cat or dry timber. Nothing offensive or acrid, just comfortable.