Winter arrived suddenly and with a flourish in Scotland last year. Prolonged sub zero temperatures and heavy snowfalls began in early December. Predictably, councils ran out of grit, politicians blustered and fell on their swords, radio pundits put aside global warming and reminded us all that we are on holiday between ice ages, kids tabogganed on a school day, points froze and delivery services encamped at the border, shaking their heads and putting Christmas on standby for online shoppers. Disorder aplenty and I have heard many a sentiment of 'good riddance' as we put it all behind us. But before we turn our backs on winter let's not forget what an astonishing time of year the dark months can be for those who love the rationed light and whose Amazon packages can wait a while. We who ventured out were gifted some rare sights. Take these ice crystals for example, grown in temperatures of minus twelve in largely untrodden country near Aberfeldy. There will be a word for them in the Inuktitut tongues, I'm sure. If you know what it is, please share.