As previously predicted, the cold weather finally came, bringing sub-zero temperatures and snow across the county. Suddenly, the concern about the amount of rain we’d been getting was replaced by the usual apprehension about the snow instead. It’s clear that snow isn’t very popular with a lot of people. As soon as we get into the daily grind of the working lifestyle, snow loses the wonder that it held for us as a child and instead gets lumped along with traffic and illness into the list of “things that stop us getting to work”.
This is a great shame. I am a big fan of snow, so much so that I’m even willing to overlook the fact that I needed a few hundred pounds worth of vehicle repair after the effects it had on my car last winter. The reason I’m such an advocate is down to the amazing effect that it has on how the landscape acts and how it feels – it’s magical. There really is nothing like getting out into the countryside when there’s snow on the ground. It’s as though the action of snow blanketing the ground muffles the sound of the wild. I have yet to experience a more serene calm than when I walk the fields during, or just after, snowfall. Sounds that cut through the still air seem louder, like they no longer belong in a world they once were so at home in. The cries of crows take on an ethereal quality in this new world, while the harsh shout of a pheasant shatters through the air like cracking ice. Nature’s stories are left preserved in the snow, as the tracks of her creatures are preserved. The pathway of a vole running through the hedgerow bottom to seek shelter, a rabbit uncovering hidden blades of grass to eat, and a fox stalking across the field are all tales of the night before laid bare in white for you to see. So think about it. Next time the snow causes you to have a day off work get wrapped up, put on your boots and get outside. There are all manner of things to be found outside in winter’s wonderland.