Sloe and steady

by on Dec.31, 2009, under Birdwatching, Lee Moor Farm

After the¬†completion of the thaw yesterday we woke this morning…to a fresh covering of snow ūüôā Now, I make no secret of the fact that I love wintry weather.¬† I’m invigorated by it, my photography is inspired when we’re in the grip of bone-chilling temperatures and a blanket of snow on the ground fills me with joy.¬† I struggle to understand the media apoplexy that greets snowfall each winter.¬† Well,¬†that’s the usual response¬†if that snowfall is anywhere other than Northumberland…

I often wonder what the national media thinks lies between Leeds and Edinburgh?¬† Today was no exception.¬† The national weather forecast on the BBC was concerned with snowfall in the northeast of Scotland.¬† And that was it as far as snowfall was concerned…my only problem was that as we drove up the A1 just north of Morpeth there was a good couple of inches of freshly-fallen snow on the road and we were in a blizzard that brought near white-out conditions.¬† Sarah took this shot using my ‘phone.

Nowhere other than Scotland eh?

Nowhere other than Scotland eh?

The lorry that you can see ahead of us spent most of his journey veering across the carriageway as he lost traction.¬† The cars I could see in our rear view mirror were having similar problems.¬† And us?¬† We were in a proper vehicle ūüôā¬† No problems, just a steady drive to make sure we were a safe distance behind the lorry.¬† That’s the thing about wintry conditions, as long as people understand that things are different there probably isn’t a need for the panic and the mayhem.

We arrived at Lee Moor, and the covering of snow on the ground wasn’t managing to lighten the gloomy conditions a great deal; 09:30 and the sky was as darker than¬†it had been at 8am.¬† Our small group assembled and we set off around the farm trails.¬† The birdwatching was good; a big mixed flock of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Tree Sparrows allowed a close approach, Kestrels and Buzzards passed overhead, a solitary Lapwing sat motionless in a snowy field and a covey of Grey Partridges flushed from¬†a well-managed headland.¬† Throughout the frozen woodland Brown Hares were regularly encountered and voles appeared from, then disappeared back into, their snow-holes.¬† The covering of snow also made it easy to follow the tracks of Roe Deer and Red Fox.¬† Back at the farm, Ian provided a delicious lunch of home-made soup, warm bread and mince pies.¬† Then he produced a bottle of Sloe gin.¬† It was a shame¬†Martin was driving as he had 2003, 2004 and 2009 vintages! Sarah enjoyed it…and reminded¬†us that we had a bottle in our drinks cabinet at home…

Lee Moor Farm

Lee Moor Farm

In the bleak midwinter

In the bleak midwinter

An 'interesting' footpath

An 'interesting' footpath

Ian Brown, a wooly hat and one of them old-fashioned film camera thingies

Ian, a wooly hat and one of them old-fashioned film camera thingies

That’s it for 2009.¬† Have an enjoyable Old Year’s Night and see you in 2010 ūüôā

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Ian Brown

    Hi Martin and Sarah

    Excellent walk around this morning and the fresh covering of snow does bring out the forensic/CSI element of our personalities…..
    All the best for 2010 and look forward to your events here in the new year.
    Enjoy tonight and catch up soon

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