Cotswold Snow - an apology...

There have been a number of blogs written about the blizzards and deep snow both here in England and also in America. Not only have there been photos of snowy landscapes but also photos of cars and buildings virtually buried under a deep, white mantle.

I've had to rely on a ski trip photo for really deep snow
Mariapfarr, Austria - the nearest I've seen to a real gingerbread house!

Even in the Arizona desert, where there is none, they manage to put up the most amazing Christmas tree made from white sprayed tumbleweed - quite magical, it's the best tree I've ever seen. Except I haven't seen it being stuck in the barely snowy Cotswolds. Virtual travellers like me can visit it via one of my favourite blog writers, Noelle (an apt name, of course and Happy Birthday, which I assume must be about now), Christmas in the Desert.

Our snowfall - just a dusting despite the warnings of up to eight inches forecast

Despite all the weather warnings, we have only had a dusting of snow, an apology for the real thing - it stopped about 15 miles away. We have had ice and lots of it, especially black ice to make us skid off our little country lanes. But the secret valley has looked magical with some wonderful skies and it has made us all feel much more Christmassy. And although we haven't had much snow, we have had everything else - sleet, freezing fog, freezing rain, bitter winds and a little sunshine.
A winter's sunset and snow clouds over the secret valley
This morning was especially beautiful. The temperature overnight plunged exceptionally low to -8C or even lower, which for the south of England is cold: our winters tend to be a mix of cooler and warmer with average days rarely falling below -3C and rising to +6C. But as dawn broke, the fog came down and the sun tried hard (and eventually failed) to break through.

Fog, snow and a golden sunrise
When the weather is like it has been today, breaking ice on the horses water trough and refilling it with buckets from the house - for the hosepipes and outdoor water supply have frozen solid - isn't so much of a chore. And seeing the horses tucking into their haylage and knowing that they are warm and their bellies are full means that we can lounge in front of the wood burning stove without feeling too guilty.
"Why does he keep taking all these photos?"

For Christmas Day the winds are turning to the southwest where the influence of the warm waters of the Gulf Stream will bring in mild, grey weather. The cold snap that is already passing brought winds from the east, travelling across the European mainland from Russia, these are always bitter spells. And, if all things happen normally in the New Year, we shall receive the remains of the snow that has fallen across the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, for we seem to get the tail end of their extreme weather about six weeks later. Perhaps there will be a snowy Cotswold blog then.

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  1. Wonderful photos, I especially love the frosty shots!

    I think you have been quite lucky... We've had yet more snow tonight... Highly frustrating because the snow was finally beginning to melt away and now we're back to square one.

    At least it'll be my first ever white christmas... That is unless it rains tomorrow sometime.

  2. Johnson, how fortunate that you escaped the worst of it. Our ice has finally thawed, rains came and only to find another freeze currently. Stay warm and have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

  3. Hello Johnson,

    Thank you very much for your kind words. I drove by the Tumbleweed Tree today and it looked beautiful with the sun glinting off of the glitter. I would be thrilled to see a dusting of snow someday here in the desert as you well know by now. Thank you also for the birthday wishes - day after Christmas is it :0)

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    You are more than welcome to any and all of the snow we have here in Virginia. Bring a shovel!! Our Retrievers like to jump and romp so I won't let myself be terribly upset by the damage done to a very large Laurel bush.

    Happy holidays!

  5. Thanks and a happy Christmas to you all.

    Liz - i'm chuffed that you consider my photos worthy of praise considering your expertise in that field. My camera is just a small 'point and go' (which is probably why I get acceptable results!). In the New Year I hope to get something more sophisticated - becoming a blogger has rekindled a dormant interest in photography.


  6. I've always heard of the Cotswolds, it seems as if there are such beautiful, peaceful, charming towns and villages in England. All I knew of the Cotswolds was that Laura Ashley lived there, correct?

  7. Lovely photos - very atmospheric. We have only have about 1" here in Malvern but like you lots of ice. Will be glad to see the back ofit. Best wishes for Christmas & New Year

  8. Yes, Joy, that's correct, she did. Lot's of famous people buy up the bigger houses here and a large number of weekenders too buy up smaller ones, who tend to work in London through the week.

    Pity in some ways but they do create a lot of employment for people like me - so I like them!

    Thank you for following my blog.



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