The first of winter

The first snow arrived today. Not much, but enough to coat the garden.Traffic at the bird table has increased, and the morning feed was gone by noon. There’s likely a message in that, and it’s time to get in the day’s supply of wood while the sun is still out.The work with the saw back in September is now paying off. One barrowload is roughly one day’s supply. Will there be enough? I become increasingly obsessional, because  I know that once there is significant snow or ice, the fuel tankers take one look at the hill outside on the house, and turn tail for home.

The idiotic plants that insisted it was Spring a few weeks ago are now paying the penalty. I told them at the time, but did they listen?I like the way that snow transforms ordinary things. I suppose that in the same way artists use white to highlight things, snow draws your eye to shapes that are normally lost against the background. Like this fallen willow:‘When whin is out of blossom, kissing’s out of fashion’  The banks of whin (gorse, if you must), which are a startling sight in May, are mostly bare, but there are always opportunistic patches of yellow to be found:Sheep are also transformed by snow. White ones sink into the background, but the black or brown do the opposite. They gaze at the passer-by with yellow goatish eyes from within their thick wool, mocking the wellies, the gloves, and the fisherman’s jersey from an Aberdeen back street…

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17 thoughts on “The first of winter

  1. The sna’s here too. Again not too much yet – but enough to make us think hard about fuel etc.

    That silly primula didn’t listen to your wisdom did it? Daft plant.

    And, an ungrateful sheep which mocks wellies shouldn’t really call itself a sheep. Without wellies how will it get its neeps over the winter???

    I have log envy, what a supply I get excited by a wood pile, I really do! Unfortunately no open fire here – our landlord bless his dear heart, in his wisdom blocked up all the chimneys of the homestead and put in storage heaters (which means I get the heat I need today, tomorrow – what an utterly fabulously stupendously daft invention they are both silly landlords and storage heaters).

    Keep cosy.

  2. That’s a great slogan – ‘Today’s Heat Tomorrow.’ I suppose you could always see if your landlord will let you unblock a lum…. then you could add peat-digging to your enviable range of skills…

    • I lived in the inner herbrides for years, I ken gan tae the peats richt enough. It’s not a skill. Brag about.

      Did however help (meagrely) with highland park with a project to ensure their peat extraction was as Eco-friendly as possible. Much better for it used in a decent malt than on my fire -job well done. Ah, malt whisky – a whole other passion……..

      Sadly the wise man I rent from put a fixed cooker and kitchen cupboard in front of one lum and blocked a wall over the other. perhaps he hates fireplaces?

        • I’m sure that’s true, I’ve never tried. I was just wondering that it might be difficult to have a wood pile in Orkney – even if you had a fire? Glad you landed safely. There’s to be an Orkney-style gale in central belt apparently. Maybe the wind is following you?

  3. Wow. I’ve just realized I have very similar feelings about cats, dahlias and snow: all very nice, in others’ gardens. That blue primula with some cold hat is beautiful BTW, the goat’s scary instead.
    Here we have very high temperatures for december: min. 8°C – max. 14°C, snow feels so far away…
    I left Mina with contractions this morning, I might find another surprise, rather than snow, tonight…

  4. Your first light snow is about what we get all winter here. I prefer the unusual year when I can’t get out the drive for a week.– Looking forward to your coming photos of deep snow, which it seems Scotland can count on every winter. This was a lovely post. The ice on the bloom is adorable.

    A note to Alberto: Why are you at work when Mina is in labor!? Go home!

    • Sometimes we get deep snow – more often we don’t. It’s a maritime climate, so it all depends whether the wind comes from Siberia or from the Atlantic. Last year was exceptional. Apologies for the poor quality of the pix; I forgot to readjust the camera after taking photos of the cafe Torino

  5. I’m not very keen on snow so don’t waste time wishing for it but it does mean you can take lovely wintry pictures like yours. Our log pile is going down quickly, there always seems loads at the beginning of the ‘fire’ season, then suddenly the pile has gone right down and panic sets in.

    • Yes, I remember it all too well. 50cms on 30th November. Edinburgh airport shut for 36hrs, pantomine cancelled. 2 1/2 mile trudge to the shops to stock up on booze….. Which is why I am warily looking out of the window… But of course, this year we will scarcely have a frost!

  6. Great snowy pictures. I was stood by my log store yesterday wondering whether we’ll have enough to see us through. Think we’ll have enough until February but will need another delivery. It has been pretty mild here in Wales but when the nights are so long and dark I like the light from the fire so I’ve lit it anyway.

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