Whilst the rest of the UK was amok with the white stuff earlier this week, Bath, Wiltshire and our local area of the South West stayed bright, sunny and snow free.
Then this morning, after countless different coloured weather warnings from the Met office our small village in Wiltshire woke to a blanket of snow with more falling steadily.
Many people find the snow a nuisance, and given, if you HAVE to be somewhere and can’t travel it can be frustrating. But snow transforms the look and sounds of the countryside in a way no other weather event can. And it doesn’t happen very often like this, especially here in the South West. So I was determined to enjoy it.
The first task was to walk to the local shop and buy some milk and a few supplies. In the countryside life carries on, snow or no snow, unless it’s not safe. Country folk mostly have a good sense of practicalities – when it’s most sensible to stay put and when everyone should club together and carry on.
I haven’t lived long in my new village, so I’m still getting to know everyone, but the community spirit is very familiar to me and to places I’ve lived before. People out helping older members of the community clear their paths or buy shopping. Families out excitedly with the children pulling sleds behind them, clapping numb hands and bodies wrapped in umpteen layers.
The next task was to take some photos for Facebook and my blog.
In truth, this isn’t really a task at all!
Brilliant – an excuse to grab the camera, get the boots and get out and explore.
Time passed quickly as I searched around to see if I could find different ways of showing off the best of the countryside in winter. I saw a little blackbird sheltering beneath a porch from the heavy snow (they are such cheeky and characterful birds). A splatter of bird prints in the snow made fantastic patterns.
The snowflakes fell as they did I could see the six sided shapes fall on my coat sleeves before melting.. Out over the fields the snow was deep and fresh. In the skies up above I saw the beautiful patterns of the under wings of two Buzzards – out perhaps in the hope of spotting a bite to eat on the frozen ground below. Across from me the church’s outline was transformed by the snow and the trees, well what can I say. I love trees – and winter snow lined trees for me are magical – a few more photo opportunities.
As we now near dusk I think the magic increases.
A rare silence falls on a land bound by snow. And the light is fantastic this time of evening. The snow sort of glistens and almost glows.
So for me, the snow is a wonder and the way that communities and birds and animals carry on around it – a great sign of spirit.