Thursday, 7 January 2010

And then the sun came out


And the world glistened white and shining.  It is cold as cold but the sky is vivid and the air sings with cold.  The birdfeeders are thronged with birds who fluttered and twittered in the trees as I filled them.  Even the woodpecker has been swinging and tapping on the peanuts all day long.

The valley is perfect and untrodden.  If you watch for long enough you will see a quadbike making its way along the other side, down the steep slopes, a bale of hay strapped to it .  You will see the sheep gathering or the sharp black shape of a horse moving across the field towards the black shape of the woods.  A tractor makes it way along the road in the bottom of the valley but no cars move.  No post comes.

The hedges are works of art.

We have spent the day shovelling snow, bringing in logs and kindling, tramping down to the pumphouse which controls our water supply, checking and sorting, feeding the chickens and the cats and the peacock.  The weather forecast predicts days of low temperatures and further snow and ice.  I try to take the sensible precautions and I feel the little leap of apprehension at the power of the weather and what can still come.  But let us just for a moment live the absolute beauty of today.

33 comments:

  1. The wind has dropped which is a blessing. Bitterly cold though. We have beautiful blue skies too. I have spent much of the day considering how to photograph the twinkling ice crystals on the snow - like pavé diamonds. An impossible task I think.

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  2. What beautiful images. No blue sky here today - grey, cold and more snow brought in on a stiff breeze from the North Sea. Maybe sunshine tomorrow - before more snow at the weekend.

    Just got the fire going for this evening - the embers were still hot from last night.

    Celia

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  3. Like F, I have tried to snap the snow sparkling like a glittered Christmas card. The light is amazing and the scene from my window changes by the minute. At sunrise and sunset the hills were the softest pink!

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  4. I have been wondering how you are getting on - the maps have shown plenty of snow over your way - glad to hear you are alright. As always, beautiful words describing a magical world - the high spot of my early evening :-)

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  5. Your photos are just lovely ELizabeth - it makes your home look even more stunning. I love the description of the simple survival tasks at the end of the posts. Hope the pump is OK!

    Keep snug x

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  6. It is very, very beautiful! I am enjoying all the snowy photos from so many places around the world...

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  7. It is absolutely beautiful, Elizabeth. Hope you've taken lots of photos. I love the vision of untrodden snow, however ours is mysteriously full of an assortment of silent animal tracks, which I have to say is lovely.

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  8. Your blog and the photos are lovely and yes you're right. In the words of Jim Reeves, 'Today is all the time that we have.' so yes - let's enjoy the moment

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  9. Enjoying lots of lovely photography these last few days...beautiful work....lovely words. Nature although hard in the cold sometimes at its prettiest.

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  10. we just cannot get enough of it, can we. I am out and snapping like made all the time too and have just posted two consecutive 'snow picture blogs'.

    It is just too beautiful to miss. I hope it will last forever, but I also hope it'll stop soon and we can get to the shops and have the LPG lorry manage to come up the drive.

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  11. What beautiful views! You described it all so well I almost felt like I was there. We are having a very mild winter, so far.

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  12. Wow! Are you doing okay? I've seen on the news how you are gripped in a freeze? Stay warm!

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  13. You certainly are having your share of severe weather, but it sounds as though you're treating it as the adventure that it is.
    Your photos are truly lovely. I want to walk through the gate and into the hills.

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  14. Such beautiful images Elizabeth. Not so much snow here, but cold and pretty anyhow. Wonder how long it will last? x

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  15. i daren't go and look at the level on my oil tank. If I run out then I think there is no chance of getting more. Head in sand is definitely the way forwards....

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  16. Your pictures are absolute magic. Here in Pennsylvania we have light snow. Just enough to neatened up our pastures and fields, but nothing like the beauty you are seeing. We don't have to worry about the oil tank -- the Pa Dutch who built our house put it right on the road so that they could always get out to church during the winter.

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  17. Snow has a much greater effect on the world than just its property of making everything bask in its white glow; it's much more than just something that turns hedges into works of art. It's as if we've turned the page of a magic book that takes us through a secret door and into the wonderful world of the White Rabbit.

    If we had 64 different words for 'snow' as I am told do the Esquimaux, then one of my words would be Harvey.

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  18. Yes I recognise that little leap of apprehension - I have it too, but like you I marvel at the sheer beauty - the pristine fields, the glistening icicles, the patterns on the windows, the frosty cobwebs - it is all so beautiful. Keep warm though.

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  19. Your snow covered hills are so peaceful and beautiful!

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  20. I hope all your supplies hold out . And I'm impressed you're still sharing your peanuts with the birds !
    Your lovely pristine snow makes ours look rather grungy and we don't have a peacock , just a disconsolate cormorant at the end of the road . So I'm grateful for your reminder that it can all be so magical .

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  21. Hi Elizabeth, lets do a deal some of your weather for some of mine and see what we come up with! Maybe something a little more bearable. We have four days of 42deg and above. Have to keep the water up to the bird baths for the wrens and sparrows!. Keep the chook bucket full and when it gets really hot, the girls might even get a dunking in a bucket of nice cool water.Not to mention trying to keep the garden going.We seem to be at opposing ends of the weather forecast. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, I am slightly envious. Take care and stay warm, I know I will!

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  22. Beautiful pictures.

    We have had a sunny afternoon. Ventured out for a bit.
    Hope there won't be any more snow.

    Nuts in May

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  23. mountainear - I totally failed with the ice crystals, as if I had just imagined them!
    MC - we are keeping our stove in day and night now. It makes such a difference to the living room and easily flares into life again in the morning.
    Twiglet - I love the pink light too!

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  24. Sue - yes, lots of snow here. Beautiful but a bit intimidating!
    Silverpebble - survival tasks is a very good description of it.
    SS - thank you. It is amazing.
    Sara - it is fascinating to see how this is playing out across the globe.
    Brown Dog - ours is full of tracks too and it is quite chastening to come across things and have not the slightest idea what you are looking at. Could be a yeti for all I know.
    Sbs - thanks. We have been lucky over here haven't we?
    Fran - thanks, that's a compliment from you in particular! Preens slightly.

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  25. These short responses of mine are not unconnected with a bout of hiccups which may be connected to champagne.
    Sorry, they have gone now.
    Molly - might not have expected Jim Reeves to be a fount of wisdom but this is spot on!
    KN - yes, an odd tension between beauty and cruelty.
    Friko - you have it exactly: I don't want it to end and I am ready for it to stop.
    Catherine - it is hard to imagine a mild winter just now. Thanks for visiting.
    Cathy - my feet and hands were very cold earlier but I am warm by the stove right now.
    Pondside - the hills are very beautiful just now. I keep looking up at them but haven't been up there for a week or two. Maybe tomorrow!
    Welsh Girl - have you logs? scarves? gloves? four season sleeping bags? don't do a Captain Oates on us.

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  26. Karen - I still find it amazing that you can be reading my blog in Pennsylvania! Welcome.
    Fennie - I love your blog about the snow.
    Weaver - it is a strange mixture, isn't it, the tension between apprehension and delight?
    Gayle - it is much greyer today, a monochrome world.
    S&S - love the idea of the disconsolate cormorant! The peacock is looking a bit disconsolate. I think he has had enough of snow.
    Claire - I can almost not imagine your temperatures. Isn't it odd, when you are cold it is hard to remember heat and when you are boiling the memory of being truly cold seems like a mirage.
    Maggie - not sure where you are and whether you will get any more snow. Looks like we are in for some more tonight.

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  27. Those green shrubs look like iced cupcakes!

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  28. Very peaceful. I like quiet, maybe too much. I find the things and activity you described (the horse) bring me such calmness. I think that is the best thing in the world.

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  29. Sunshine and blue skies are the most important snow accessory (except,perhaps,decent wellies).
    Lovely pictures.
    Great landscape.

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