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More snow

Yesterday the snow came again. I phoned Gillian at work to make sure she knew how heavy the snowfall was on top of the hill, as it is often worse up here than down in the valley where she works. She drove home straight away, but still didn’t manage to make it all the way home, abandoning the car less than half a mile from home.

Nearly nine inches of snow had fallen, meaning that we were once again snowed in. The difference between this time and the last was that I was able to do a good deal of the snow clearing myself. Gillian had cleared the slope up into the drive, and a narrow path to allow us to walk out of the front door, but new snow had covered that. I started by clearing the slope, and was quickly joined by Will with his own snow scoop. He is — naturally — a lot fitter and stronger than me, so between us we managed to clear enough snow to make the drive passable in about one and a quarter hours. It’s the most exercise I have taken for months. I was extremely pleased to have been able to help with this chore, so much so indeed that it was more of a joy than a chore for all the effort it took.

Through the Arched Window

After clearing the snow I started to look at it properly. First I looked at it from the warmth of the living room, and took this photo. It’s a sort of companion to my previous snow photograph, but this time it’s a straight image,  with no manipulation other than a slight exposure and levels tweak. Click the image to see a larger version.

I was very taken with the contrast between the shaded and sunlit trees. The bush nearest us is in our garden, which wasn’t seeing much sun, unlike the trees in the wood on the other side of the road. I was really taken with the contrast between the light on the wood, and the shaded bush. “Bush” is horribly unfair. It is a small evergreen tree that is planted in one of the columns of the front wall of our garden.

Light and Shade

Then Gillian pointed out that the sun was catching the snow crystals and making them sparkle. How could I resist trying to capture the effect? I also liked the way the sun revealed the texture of the snow. You can see in the shaded part at the bottom that there is virtually no structure. To see this difference gave me a truly visceral understanding of why the skiers at the Olympics prefer some sun on their downhill runs. It may be a bit hard to see the sparkles, but if you click the image you’ll see a larger version where they should be more evident. What you can’t really see, even in the full sized image, is that the sparkles were coloured. Each sparkle was essentially a single-pixel rainbow. Not very bow-shaped, but they were certainly colourful.


What a difference from the last snow fall! Not only was I able to clear the snow, but I had enough energy left over to try to capture some of the loveliness of the scene. I’m sure we’ll get fed up with the inconvenience soon enough, but it was good to be able to appreciate something beautiful when it appeared.

{ 12 } Comments

  1. Frosty | 19 February 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Love the pics it looks so beautiful and I’m really pleased that you’ve felt well enough to clear the path. Can I hire you out ;o)

  2. icyjumbo | 19 February 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.

    As for hiring my services, it depends on what rates you’re offering 😛

  3. Eric Knowles | 19 February 2010 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Hello Chris
    Yes strange how we find so much of interest when everything is covered up.
    I find the snow helps me not to feel so guilty about the garden ~ everyone’s is the same!
    If ever you want somewhere to go (and you can get there) Little Malvern Priory is open during the day time.
    Thinking of you both.

  4. icyjumbo | 19 February 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Hello Eric. Funny you should mention the Priory. I was just thinking how gorgeous it would look in the snow and sun, and if the snow is still on the ground tomorrow morning, I may well be there!

  5. Joan Lock | 20 February 2010 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    How lovely. And something you never see where I live in Perth, Western Australia. I have actually only ever seen snow close up once in my life when our cousins took us up the mountain from Mission in British Columbia and it was all hard and crusty. Disappointing.

  6. icyjumbo | 20 February 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    It certainly is very pretty to look at. Quite lovely actually. But it’s a bit of a mixed blessing. We often lament our poor weather here in Britain, wishing we had more sun, but I bet you could tell us a thing or two about too much sun.

    This snow was soft and powdery. It would have been useless for making snowballs or snowmen, if I had been tempted to do such a thing. But it was fairly easy to shovel. Just push a snow-scoop into it and walk forwards. Then go back and pick up the bits that fell out of the side. Wash, rinse, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat! There was a lot of it.

  7. mindspring | 21 February 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Great pictures- remember, keep busy living!

  8. icyjumbo | 21 February 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, DJS, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The keeping busy living thing, you betcha!

  9. Nigel | 21 February 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you enjoyed the snow. I travelled to London and back when it came down. Damn you, evil TRANSPORT CHAOS, damn you to hell.

  10. icyjumbo | 21 February 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. Enjoyed? I think that’s a bit strong. Especially after shovelling more of it for nearly an hour today. But it was pretty.

  11. Veronica | 25 February 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photographs, Chris. Thank you for sharing them.

  12. icyjumbo | 25 February 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Veronica. It was so good to have the energy left over after snow shovelling that I had to celebrate somehow.