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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nice weather for ptarmigans

Spring may have arrived in New York but it's been and gone again here in Oxfordshire. We were promised a "snow event" by the BBC but the last time they said that it was just a few flakes so I was thrilled to look out of the window and see this:

Snowy tree

I have a similar reaction to snowfall as the kid in The Snowman so I pulled on my warmest woolly socks and sweater (both coincidentally knit from the same Kilcarran Donegal Aran tweed) and headed out to explore.

I was the first person out into the water meadows this morning but mine weren't the only tracks in the snow.

mysterious tracks

I'm not a good enough tracker to identify these with certainty but I'm pretty sure that they're pheasant (given that the place is crawling with them).

Snowy bridge

There's nothing quite like a snowy scene with absolutely no footprints but your own.

Snowy lake

When I got into the great park the scene was ridiculously perfect, right down to the single swan (alas with its head down just at this point) that drifted into shot right on cue. I love the effect of snowy branches en masse, they create a kind of snow haze in the background.

The park was full of slightly pissed off looking pheasants looking even more visible than usual against the bright snow - I bet they wish they had snow plumage.

Snowy pheasant

Snowy palace

Even at half past eight in the morning there were a few kids taking advantage of the landscaping to go sledging. Luckily the slope evens out long before they hit either the water or an electric fence!

Snowy village

The snow has a transformative effect on animate as well as inanimate objects. The sheep which normally look so white against the green grass take on rather a yellowish tinge.

Snowy sheep

I did try taking a few self-portraits of my warmest sweater (which is pre-blog and pre-Ravelry) but the camera just couldn't cope with the contrast between my red sweater and the snow and the whole thing got very over exposed (the effect really wasn't helped by my wearing a white hat either!). Maybe later when I go out to play in the snow again!


Felix said...

What beautiful photos!

I am also very like the child in The Snowman at the first sign of a bit of snow...

lupin said...

Oh this makes me homesick for oxfordshire - stunning pics!