Just when we thought that spring was on its way, this happened.
This winter storm has been dubbed the ‘mini beast from the East’ which, as my sister says, rather suggests a woodlouse with a snow machine.
We drove home last night through a proper snow storm but about two miles from home the snow suddenly just stopped and we thought we would get none at all. It did eventually start snowing though and by this morning everything was white.
I always find the snow fascinating for watching wildlife – the tracks are great – and this morning I spent quite some time watching the pair of thrushes that arrived here recently. I am very much hoping that they will nest and we will have a little brood of them.
We also had a proper snowball fight for the first time in ages – the snow last time was not great for snowballs. We even built a little snowman!
We did managed to go for a very short ride. Galahad was a little chilly to start with and it didn’t really feel safe to go too far but it was wonderful to get to use my riding skirt in earnest!
By that time a lot of the snow had melted but as we came back in it was snowing again and pretty soon all the green was hidden once more. It is still snowing now, although not as much as it was, and I will soon be curled up by the fire with a book and a cup of tea. It is a pretty good day.
Even before the snow came last week we were living in a beautiful, frozen landscape. The mud had frozen hard, which make walking much easier, and even the stream froze – in some places all the way across.
It wasn’t quite strong enough to bear my weight but the dog had no problems at all. I’m not even sure she realised it wasn’t normal ground.
The water tank in the yard was very well frozen and that was enough to bear my weight. In fact, it was a bit of a problem because although we could break the ice it just kept freezing throughout the day. Once the snow came the ponies were eating a lot more hay which meant they needed more water too. We had to increase the number of water buckets inside the stables – they still froze but with only a very thin layer of ice – and we periodically topped them up with warm water as well. The ponies loved that!
We also stopped soaking the overnight haynets for a while too. They just froze solid and made eating very difficult indeed for the ponies!
Despite the problems though, everything was simply beautiful and I miss the frost now the rain has come back and we are once again sloshing through the mud.
In the end we were let off pretty lightly with the snow this week. We had a blizzard forecast to start at three on Thursday afternoon and it arrived bang on time. There were some absolutely beautiful snowflakes – something I haven’t seen very often.
By five o’clock we had a pretty decent covering of snow – enough for some tobogganing – and by Friday morning everything was white. The high winds meant that it was hard to tell just how much snow had fallen – some places had a couple of inches and in others there were drifts over a foot deep. It might not sound like much but we hardly get any snow down here (we live in a valley and are pretty sheltered) so even that is very exciting for us.
In some patches the snow had blown away altogether – as you can see, the lane is very patchy. However, all the bits with no snow were covered with a sheet of ice so it was still extremely slippery.
I love the snow though so I have been having a whale of a time. The ponies haven’t minded it either, although they have been a bit skittish – possibly because they aren’t getting much exercise. I was impressed at their snow-scraping skills – they first saw a decent amount of snow eight years ago and have barely seen any since, yet they still know how to find the grass!
The long expected Arctic blast is beginning to make itself felt here. The temperature has plummeted but we have been having beautiful weather.
The ground has frozen nicely and we can walk over the top of the mud now instead of wading through it. These footprints were made just the day before I took the photograph.
Our big rainwater tank is also now frozen enough to bear my weight.
It holds a lot of water and it needs to be pretty cold to do that. It’s always one of the highlights of the winter if I can ‘skate’!
Yesterday we finally had some snow. It may not be much compared to the rest of the country but we get so little of it down here that even a small amount is exciting. I love snow!
We had a heavy frost again this morning – so much so that the latches on the gates were frozen shut and I couldn’t shift them.
Luckily, one of the gates also has a bolt which was still movable so the ponies were able to go out!
I was also fascinated by the hurdles round the sheep pen – they are hollow and the uprights fill with water. This is what had happened this morning!
I love these mornings, despite the bitter cold. They are really beautiful. Plus, they mean that it is finally cold enough to wear my highwayman hat cover. It is lovely and cosy!
It has been simply beautiful here this week with a hard frost that lasted all the way through to Friday. I had to take ice off the water buckets every morning and the piles of ice are still there now. As you can see, it has also been pretty foggy.
The mornings especially have been glorious with clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Having said that, the evenings have been just as beautiful as the clear skies mean the stars are looking wonderful.
It has been pretty nice to walk over the top of frozen mud as well – much better than sticking in the wet stuff. Not that we have too much mud yet as the weather has been so nice this autumn. No doubt it will come!
This is Galahad waiting to go for a ride yesterday. I was not impressed.
It was an absolutely beautiful day and we had a lovely ride.
We didn’t get out until lunchtime but there were still patches of frost in the shade. In fact, they were still there at the end of the day. It was cold!
There was even some ice left on the puddles.
We had a wonderful time.