Brrrr…Or Do I Mean Baaaa?

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This sheep was having a lot to say for herself as she crossed the Priory parkland. Not a call of distress, more of a bad-mood grumble. Perhaps she was fed up with the snow covering her grass.

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Meanwhile on the far side of the field her fellows seemed to have found something more to their liking.

And now here’s a better view of the old parkland behind Wenlock Priory – once the domain of jolly, hunting monks, and believe me, hunting was among the least of their reputed bad habits.

Thursday’s Special   In the first challenge of 2018, Paula is definitely giving our little grey cells a post-Christmas shake-up. Algid was a new word for me. So here it is: cold and chilly. Now please visit Paula for the other options and some very fine photos.

The Changing Seasons December 2017 ~ A Snowland Gallery

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Our week of snow in mid-December was probably the highlight of the month for many of us – more magical than mithering about Christmas shopping or if the larder shelves had enough food on them. So here are more scenes of ice art. Also a big, big thank you to Max for hosting the The Changing Seasons challenge.

The Changing Seasons – December 2017

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Wenlock Snow Walk

 

When I left the house I only meant to go to the Post Office, this to be in time for card posting to the US. But then just as I was setting off I also picked up my camera. From the start,  then, it was likely there would be diversions.

Outside the front door I had a choice – take the five minute direct way along the main road whose pavement was now heaped with dirty snow, or step straight across to Station Road and into Snowland.

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Snowland won of course. If I went this longer way I knew I could see what was what along the Linden Walk. There could be photo opportunities…P1030771

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…and then next I’d take the field path known locally as the Cutlins, from where, no matter the weather, you always have one of the best views of the town. This is where I stopped to take the header photo.

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The path brings you to the perimeter of Wenlock Priory. Once you are down there and through the kissing gate, you can just see the ruins through the trees…

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And it was at this point that I really did mean to turn towards town…but then, when I looked beyond the Priory towards the lane that runs through the ancient parkland, it was all too beguiling.

Just a little way then…

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I did eventually make it to the Post Office, where I had to wait and wait in line, all of us standing in a lake of melting snow which we had tramped in with us.

Outside again, the town looked very pretty. On the Church Green the trees were scattering their snow like confetti, and the ancestors looked well tucked up in their snow quilts…

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And as the sun was still shining I decided to take another path, back up the Cutlins but diverting along the Priory parkland boundary so I would end up on the old railway line below the Linden Walk.

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It was totally silent there in the cutting beneath the trees; no ghost of roaring Great Western locomotive, but I could see that things had not been quiet. There were a number of casualties – saplings felled by the weight of snow. It felt like Narnia: those first steps out of C.S. Lewis’s old wardrobe. No sign of Mr. Tumnus though. Better push on before the White Witch whisks up on her slay.

Back on the Linden Field quietness there was broken by distant whoops of joy. On Windmill Hill a family and their dog were busy sledding. It looked like fun, and I was tempted to make yet another diversion. But no. My quick trip to the post had turned into a two hour meander. He who presently binds books instead of building sheds might be wondering where I’d got to. And somehow lunch time had been and gone. How did that happen?

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Jo’s Monday Walk  Please visit Jo  for magic views from her walk around Belém, Lisbon. You will be glad you did.

A Little Bit Of Earth Magic While Out Foraging For Leeks And Parsnips

Well one thing was certain, when I waded through the snow to the allotment yesterday afternoon – no-one else would be daft enough to be there. A hundred or so yards from the house, I almost turned back. The snow was coming in over my wellies, and it truly was hard work tramping through the low drifts. My well trodden path along the field edge was no longer familiar. The world was iced blue-white with only a passing buzzard to break the stillness.

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You might wonder what had induced me to go up there at all – with all the garden plots buried under a foot of snow. But I needed parsnips, and I needed leeks, and parsley and Tuscan kale from the polytunnel. And once I was there, I thought I’d better shift some of the snow from the polytunnel roof, since we’d been promised all-day snow on Sunday, which has indeed come to pass.

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It took a while to find and extract the parsnips. The soil wasn’t frozen under the snow-blanket, but was very, very sticky – doing a good impression of stuff stuck in quicksand. But mission accomplished, veggie-wise, I noticed a change in the light and started taking photos instead.

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As I was heading home, I realised I could hear the whoops and cries of happy sledders. You can just make them out on the hillside north-east of the church tower. But for the power-lines (that intrude on most views of Wenlock) it might be a traditional Victorian winter scene.

Which reminds me. While I’m here, I’d like to thank all the local farmers who have been out on their tractors clearing roads and spreading grit. My entranced-by-snow moments are all very well, but some people need to drive places. Multiple gold stars to the farmers then.

copyright 2017 Tish Farrell

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Today It’s Snowing In Wenlock

 

We wake this morning to the kind of quietness that is only made by falling snow. I’m instantly thrilled – aware of the mood shift. Yesterday I felt like vestige-of-road-kill. Now I am fizzing like a firework. How did that happen?

At 8 am the landscape looks like a scene from a post nuclear winter, and as I tell Jo, when I take the header photo, I do not need the monochrome setting.

But by 10 am the sun is out, and the field at the back of the house is all of a sparkle.

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I’ve not yet had breakfast, but I have to go out there. I wrap up in many layers, jump into my wellies. He who is sitting on the sofa reading The Guardian on his laptop, and still wearing his dressing gown, thinks I am nuts. I promise him toast on my return, dash out of the house and head for the Linden Field.

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But even as I cross the playing field to the Linden Walk I know I’ve missed the moment –at least as far as the light is concerned.

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As I pick my way up Windmill Hill, the blizzard begins, although I am briefly distracted from the change in the weather by three woolly dogs – large and small. They too are thrilled by the snow and have to tell me so. Icy muzzles push into my hands. Brrrr. Thanks a lot, dogs.

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They bound away after their people and are soon lost from sight. It is then that I notice the weather is closing in fast. The wind is vicious. Much too cold to linger. IMG_2989

I retreat from the hill the long way round – this to avoid an unseemly slithering, bottom-first.  By now it is hard to see where I’m going. Not only that, I’m turning into the Abominable Snow-Woman. Even the Linden Walk, when I reach it, offers precious little shelter. Goodness! This is the most exciting weather we’ve had in ages.

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But still, enough mucking about in the elements. There’s toast and Greek honey and good hot coffee to be had at home. Besides, any further inclinations to snap snow scenes may be catered for from the comfort of my desk and the window next to it.

Also I’ve remembered that I told Jo the snow wouldn’t last. My mistake. We’ve had several inches in the past few hours. But the best thing is that there is far less traffic out on Sheinton Street, and what there is, is moving so slowly that it is wonderfully quiet. Reminds me that it’s time to put in another request to the Council for a 20 mph speed limit. It’s interesting how a spell of disruptive weather can remind one of what really matters re life and well being.

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Thursday’s Special: sequence