Thursday, 11 February 2010

Winter Weather

The north wind doth blow and we shall have snow
But what will poor Robin do then, poor thing
He'll hide in the barn and keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing, Poor Thing

This is a nursery rythme from when I was a child, it's not a particulary cheerful rythme as you feel sorry for the poor Robin. However, you know sure as eggs there's bound to be snow if you get harsh north winds blowing. Especially after the harsh north-easterly wind we have been experiencing for the last two days. Here at Reculver, that's where we are staying at the moment, the winds are coming directly off the North Sea. Yes this part of the south east coastline is on the North sea, as the English Channel only connects with it at the Dover Straits. So the winds can be very fierce once they have gusted across the North Sea from some far off colder region like Russia or Norway.
For the last two nights I have rocked backwards and forwards, side to side, in my little van as the winds danced to a merry tune outside. It is not an unpleasant feeling, but I find I can't sleep as the wind makes me restless. I suppose its the noise and motion that keep me awake, not that it bothers me more I want to know what it's doing. When I took the puppy out for his last walk at 3am I did not get too blown about, however, there was a fair amount of snow already fallen. It shone brightly up at us both, but did not deter us as we padded across the fresh layer of white. There were no other tracks on the ground only my footprints and his paw marks, to break up the picturesque landscape.
When I stepped out this morning to take both dogs for their first walk, it was as if we had not been out last night. The ground again was covered in a blanket of white, of course we soon changed that, me and two dogs can do a lot of damage. There had been a significant snow fall during the early hours, making it much deeper. When Troy saw the sight outside he was beside himself. 'This is just like when we were in Aviemore' he chirruped. ' and much better than that lot we had before'. By this he meant the snow we had in January, he was not that impressed with it as it only lasted in isolated places. Especially around our van to stop us moving. As you may have read he did get a bit of sledging in though, so it wasn't a total waste for him then.

After breakfast we donned all our many layers, topping off with wet weather gear and wellies, and set out to give the dogs a run around the site through the snow. As you can see Troy was also armed with his sledge just in case the hill behind our van was steep enough to slide down. Well you never know your luck.

However, on reaching the top he discovered that it just wasn't steep enough for him to get a good momentum on, so he had to abandon the idea of sledging. He did take the sledge with him just in case it came in handy for anything else. We both marvelled at the various depths of the snow, and could tell that the wind had blown snow across the ground piling it up in some places. I know that it is dangerous to be trapped in this kind of snow as you can get buried under snow drifts, but I find it quiet fascinating and artistic. It's almost like an artist had fashioned the various drifts to make the landscape look more appealing to the eye, making it less regimental and ordered.

The picture above is a water point, which is used by campers to get fresh water during the summer season. Now the water is turned off as the pipes would freeze. As you can see the snow is very deep here coming up to the water tap almost. In the background is my little staff dog, yes it's a real dog not a statue. She is looking under the vans for rabbits to chase, it's the best photo I will get of her as she is camera shy.

Here is some more snow art. It looks like an angel wind spreading out across the back of this van.

Here is another snow drift. This is a rubbish collection point, so there would be bins here in the summer season. Now it is empty except for the snow heaped in one corner, clinging to the fence like it's trying to get away from something. The tiny marks are Willows little paw prints.

This view shows the barren landscape that we have acros to the south of us. It looks partculary desolate covered in snow, but really they are fields with dykes. Over towards the North Sea wall is an oyster farm, which I am sorry to say I know nothing about as I haven't found anyone to ask. That's how quiet it is here, no body much about at all.

Yes those clouds in the distance did hearld more snow, but only a brief flutter. The sun shone brightly in the afternoon making both us and our van feel warmer. As I looked out before the sun finally set I could see that some of the snow had already thawed. Yes this would not last that long, just long enough to give us a bit of fun and make everything look beautiful and clean. Well where no one has trampled anyway.

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