But wait, I still have some pictures to share of that pretty white stuff. It’s all melted and wet now but it was lovely while it lasted. It makes everything so… I don’t know … picturesque, somehow. Silly, isn’t it?
Posts Tagged ‘snow’
Snow was forecast overnight. Drawing the curtains in darkness this morning, the electric outside light revealed a couple of centimetres of snow in the garden. Further afield, particularly uphill, there is a little more, so after a bone-warming bath and breakfast we head up the nearest hill for the dog to experience her first snowfall.
Before we can even get there, she goes a bit crazy in the garden but not at the snow, which she takes in her stride. It’s the frozen pond that freaks her out as she desperately tries to eat the incomplete sheet of ice covering it. “What’s this? Why can’t I pull it out? It’s so heavy. And COLD. I’ll zoom around like a lunatic because this is blowing my mind!”
The snow reveals all kinds of things I don’t normally see: footprints of birds and deer that have passed only a short while before, branches that arch above my head pointing at vaulted structures of deadwood and ivy. A new beauty. It also hides uneven ground, deep mud, drifts of leaves that trip me up, cowpats that squelch over my boots as they get sucked into the ground beneath. I forgive them all.
Back home now. Holed up, hunkered down, behind battened hatches, I listen to the wind whooming down the chimney. That is the noise that it makes. The fire finally decides to stop smoking and I relax and curl up on the sofa with a book, a cup of tea, thick socks, a blanket and a sleeping dog. Bliss.
A rapid thaw was happening, the temperature having shot up from minus three to about five degrees centigrade overnight. Where I’m told there had been knee-deep snow yesterday, patches of earth were now appearing.
The house looked more or less intact. I’d remembered to turn off the water before I left, there was no burst pipe. On the other hand, the back door looked suspiciously wet and was hard to open. I put my shoulder to it and burst out into the soggy garden, shocking some birds into the sky. Above me, the gutter teetered at an unseemly angle and disgorged its melting contents straight at the door. In the garden, we’d lost a couple of tree branches here and there, nothing desperate and it will all make good kindling once it’s dried out.
The weight of the now rapidly vanishing snow had done other things as well. Along the lane, bits of hedge were looming forwards in the manner of a drunk sharing a confidence. Lonicera Nitida, sometimes known as boxleaf honeysuckle, is easy to shape and trim but, being a relative of the climber, it hasn’t got any what you might call ‘integrity’. Rather, it leans up against itself like a teenager during that phase where they cling to doorframes to stay upright. Weigh it down with a lot of snow and it’s gone – teenager to drunk in a week.
I had to do something before the forecast rain arrived. So I swapped my idea of walking in the hills for sturdy yellow work gloves, reached through the hedge as far as I could from the garden side and hoicked the spindly stems inwards. Then from the roadside, more than ankle deep in thawing snow, I shoved it upwards with an upside down broom. But it wasn’t enough, it had lost its grip, and some of its top-heaviness just had to go if the next snowfall wasn’t going to see it lying stretched out across the lane.
Now that it’s done, I’m thinking that the snow did me a favour, although I would have liked a walk instead of a sore elbow from wielding the shears. The hedge is now thinned out for a bit of fresh growth in the spring and should be all the stronger for it.
From the silhouettes of Italian trees to the spectacular giants of Lydeard Hill in Somerset, they are under threat and I am worrying about them; capturing their beauty while I can.
It’s a place where people still cycle in sub zero temperatures.
Where it is still expected that you might wish to sit outside to eat when snow lies on the ground. (They give you blankets.)
Where the snow thawing in the sun on the roof freezes again before it reaches the ground.
The snow’s all gone now but for the brief day or so that we had it, it revealed new textures in the patchwork of the hills.
The garden was suddenly full of the evidence of the birds and animals that traverse it when I’m not looking.
Of the flowers, only the snowdrops seemed to be relishing the sub zero temperature. Everything else – primulas, hellebores, crocuses, euphorbias – all were bent to the ground, crushed by the frost.
And the frozen pond had claimed another frog; suspended in ice so thick that it will have to wait many days until the thaw.
Posted in Country life, tagged burst pipe, car crash, cheque, christmas, cottage, eggs, flood, frosty, garden, gardening, hat, holiday, holly, insurance, kitchen, lads. lessons, logs, lorry, Montacute House, neighbours, painting, pheasant, repairs, riding, riding apparel, snow, Spring, summer, vine, visitors, wreath, Year in review on 31/12/2010 | 4 Comments »
Floodtime: We had a pipe burst in the loft over the kitchen and I learned to leave the heating on and turn off the water at the mains when I leave.
Repairtime: So many things wrong with the house all of a sudden that it became rather depressing to be here but we got through it.
In which my neighbour brought me some eggs from the farm, Spring Cottage had lots of visitors and I was reimbursed for the flood by the insurance.
When Spring arrived at the cottage, as did a lorryload of logs, and the house was painted. We also celebrated our first year here.
Started with a bang. On the day I collected my new car, I had a crash. Racing, double-barrelled cow driving the other car, who then lied about what happened. I’m still annoyed…
We settled into enjoying the cottage this month, with visitors and summer times in the garden. Nice that the pace slowed down a little.
During which nothing much happened and blogging really almost stopped, only to be followed by…
During which the blog went public. I had a holiday down here, and blogged like a woman possessed. I also journeyed to the beautiful Montacute House, south of here, and did lots of gardening.
Brought the discovery that what I thought was mainly an ornamental vine in the garden, actually had grapes on it. I also celebrated the first comment on the blog and went riding for the first time.
October arrived with the cheque from the insurers for the car accident in May. It took five months for them to settle the claim, because they are a pile of idiots. I started having riding lessons.
In which Spring Cottage had eight lads to stay and there was the first snow before Christmas for many years.
Was cold and frosty, with snow covering everything for the best part of a fortnight. It was frustrating not to be able to get to the cottage despite the Tank – although this was mostly cowardice rather than practicality.
Happy New Year! I hope 2011 brings all the things everyone wishes for, combined with good health and happiness.