So the snow has arrived. It started about 6:00am just as we were beginning to think the forecasters had been over-cautious. Heavy snow persistently falling so that now some 4 hours later we have around 2 inches of snow laying in the garden. I love snow if I don’t have to get anywhere in it. I love the way it seems to erase all the details leaving an almost blank canvas in its wake. If like me you are a gardener who is never satisfied with their space and who is considering a serious redesign then the snow is a god send as it lets you see the space for what it is.
The above photograph is of the garden at 8:00am with the large prostrate rosemary in the foreground. I become very worried about the birds when we have this sort of weather particularly those that feed on the ground. With the snow falling steadily and forecast to do so for most of the day any areas I clear for food will quickly be covered. So I moved the small patio table up the garden, cleared the snow underneath this and put out food. Within minutes the birds were there feeding away and fighting over the food. I am having to go out every couple of hours to top up the food. I have also made sure there is a good water supply.
I decided to go for a walk to the local common probably no more than a 10 minute walk up the road in order to see it in its pristine beauty before the sledgers and toboggners arrived. Unsurprisingly there was hardly any one around, the silence palpable, not even a bird call or a distant car. The only sound was the crunching of the fresh snow under my feet. I live on a small housing estate which is all up and down and therefore no one had ventured out on foot or by car, it would be pointless and futile. When I reached the nearest proper road (see above) there were signs of a few cars having passed along it and I did see a solitary 4×4 but there was none of the chaos that rained a few years back when people were trying to get to work or get their children to school. I wonder if the weather warnings and the fact it is a Friday has made people see sense and stay put. During my walk I only saw two vehicles go along the major road running along the top of the common which is always gritted and passable if you can get to it.
The common was more or less empty. I could just make out a couple with their dog (see the tiny dots at the top right hand side of the photo) and over the far side some tobogganers, including my eldest son. Well I think he was there! I could hear them and just make out their shapes but the snow was falling so fast that it was difficult to see very far. In the photograph above you should be able to see the Malvern Hills and the houses on its slopes or even their house lights but it is a total wipe out.
I turned around and headed home soon finding that my footprints were already disappearing as more snow fell. To think tomorrow when the snow has stopped falling the common will be full of children, and adults, throwing themselves down the slopes on sledges and toboggans. I will hear their screams of joy and excitement from my garden, the faint sound of cars will return. But for today the common was almost mine alone in its beautiful wintery splendour and by now there will be no sign I was even there.
Update: just watched 11 Fieldfares and 2 Bramblings feeding in the garden as well as the usual Robins, tits, Starlings, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Blackcaps, Magpies, oh and Pheasant! Really pleased