The wind piled great drifts, as high as the stone pigsties. The kitchen garden was one great surging sea of snow. Usually it looks like this, in fact this picture was taken a couple of days before the snow hit.
Today it still looks like this.
Ian spent hours and hours digging and shovelling and hiking in and out of here over and through the snow to the hens. They spent the worst of the days confined to their house and then nearly a week with access only to the enclosed run. On Tuesday Ian and a friend's son dug out the deep drifts which had buried the fencing for the larger run and reinstated it.
It's a good job that only the large house at the end is in use at the moment as the two smaller houses which we use for younger birds had filled right up with snow. Now the hens can roam more freely again but even the part of their run where the snow has gone looks like a battleground.
Yes you are right. There is a hen outside the fence there. One of our escape artists had made a bid for more grass, little realising that all that was on her side was quite a lot more snow.
I had snow up to my ears so it was a great thing that first of all on Friday we had a lovely visit for a few days from younger daughter and her fiance with her bouncy Labrador, Bess. Bess loved the snow and loves ice and generally reminded me that for young creatures snow is fun.
And then the next day our most frequent and very welcome visitors to the holiday cottage returned for this year's visit. Their two boys also loved the snow and made great use of it.
And by the middle of this week enough snow had very slowly begun to melt for the flower beds to begin to appear again. Everything looks thoroughly battered.
The hellebores have been weighted to the ground.
The poor primroses look like they have been thumped.
But crocuses are bravely having a go and in the orchard the Tenby daffodils are shrugging off the snow.
But can we have some warmth now please, a gentle wind from the south and some soft showers and some sun on our backs so that the garden can shake off winter and get on with the business of spring.