The day before had been Candlemas, with its promise – which probably dates back to the pagan festival of Imbolc, celebrated on the same day – of telling us whether winter is over or not. The day was fine, which is traditionally a sign of more wintry weather to come.
Lo and behold, drawing back the curtains the following morning revealed a good couple of inches of snow had fallen in the night. Snow must be the most transformative weather phenomenon, changing the appearance, the feel, the sound of everything it covers. The morning was still too, so the crunches of snow underfoot carried on the air.
We enjoyed the walk to school with my two children – stopping for a bit of en passant snowballing on the way. Sadly, by the end of school the snow had virtually all gone, otherwise there’d have been an hour or so of light in which to enjoy it. Winter snow is not something we can take for granted here, so the children need to have the opportunity to play in it whenever they can.
I headed over to The Farm. No-one had been out and about when I got there, so I seized the opportunity to get some photographs of the gardens under their sudden cold covering.
I say ‘no-one’ – no humans, at any rate. There were plenty of rabbit tracks, lots of small birds, and the resident Mute Swans had been padding about on the lawn by the river, probably having spent the night there are they seem to at the moment. I always keep an eye out for signs of otters, and the snow would have shown any tracks very well: sadly, there was nothing to see.
I rather spoiled this picture by walking up the path before I took it…
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ and C. sericea ‘Flaviramea’
The river, looking west. No signs of otters. I live in hope.
The snow lasted until late afternoon, although the wind got up around lunchtime and spoiled the still, bright atmosphere of the morning. Snow is not frequent in Salisbury, so I wonder when the gardens will look like this again?