Tag Archives: snow

The Snow Arrives

Finally, it arrived.

It wasn’t impressive.

We have some snow left in the street, where it will be a patchy nuisance until it melts, but all the main roads are clear. Driving into town to pick up Julia at 4.00 pm it was quite clear that the centre of town was warmer than Sherwood as there was nothing on the floor at all, not even the narrow road at the back of the leisure centre.

The bad news is that we’re meant to be down to minus 12 degrees C tomorrow. That’s minus 10.4 degrees F. We will be as cold as northern Scotland, which, the news tells me, is colder than Everest.

Based on the accuracy of previous forecasts that will probably be a few degrees under freezing.

Number Two son has just been out for a walk and says it isn’t too bad. He arrived home by train this afternoon and says Sheffield has even less snow than Nottingham.

All in all, it’s a very unsnowy day round here, though news reports do show that there is plenty of snow locally. Looks like we dodged the bullet.

Though it may be a bit early, as their is time for snow yet, I will permit myself a small smile. 🙂

Waiting for the Snow

As I sat and wrote about my new job and Peter Rabbit (two separate posts, in no way linked, even in my imagination) I was expecting snow. It didn’t happen.

We were then supposed to wake up to find we had between four and seven inches of snow this morning. Now that we’re awake, and snowless, the forecast has been modified to show it starting at 7 am. As I sit and type, having dropped Julia off at work, there is still 37 minutes for this prediction to come true.

According to one on-line map we are already under snow. Other sites predict an almost 100% chance of some snow (between two and ten inches) between now and 8 pm with the possibility of disruption, the likelihood of travel problems and the chance of some rural areas being cut off. They further qualify it with “in some places”. Am I alone in finding that a little vague?

Much of the vagueness, of course, comes from journalists trying to sell newspapers. The Met Office is generally quite good at this sort of thing. It is, after all, what they do.

If you live in a country that has proper snow and are wondering what all the fuss is about, look at it this way. If you live in a small town somewhere snowy you probably have more snowploughs, more winter tyres and more snow shoes in town than we have the whole of England. In fact you probably have more snow shoes in your garage than we have in the whole of England. Scotland and Wales, having mountains, take it a bit more seriously and I’m not sure about Northern Ireland. I never think of it as overly snowy, but then again, I do think of it as rainy, and if it’s cold I suppose the rain has to come down as something.

If I was in charge I’d keep us in the European Union and close the country down from December to March while we all went on holiday somewhere warm.

 

 

Snow

We had some snow today. That’s English snow – measured by the flake rather than the inch. After two attempts we have a very sparse scattering, which will no doubt freeze overnight and, as our street gets no sun in winter, stick about for a week or so causing problems.

That’s how we deal with snow in England, acting surprised, being under-prepared and letting a few flakes close down the entire country. No doubt we will have train delays and car accidents tomorrow. I can’t help thinking that other places do it better. It’s unlikely, for instance, that Canadians or Scandinavians would even recognise this sprinkling as snow.

Fortunately the urban population of the UK is plentifully provided with Chelsea Tractors.

I will keep my opinion of such things to myself. It’s not that I’m short of opinions, but Julia has given me a list of jobs to do ready for her Open Day tomorrow.

More New Words

We were in Derbyshire yesterday, and had a thoroughly miserable day. The weather was cold and grey with outbreaks of drizzle and, as we climbed higher, wintry showers.

And that is where the new words cut in. “Wintry showers” is, it seems, a term mainly used in the UK. It’s an undefined mix of rain, graupel and snow where the ground temperature is above freezing and nothing settles. In the USA, according to Wikipedia, a “wintry mix” is a mix of  freezing rain, ice pellets and snow that occurs when the ground is below freezing and things do settle.

I say “in the USA” with all the assurance that it’s one country, though now I come to think about it if you are reading this in New Mexico you probably aren’t that interested in snow.

On the subject of differences between the UK and USA, how about sleet? In the UK it’s another part of the rain/hail continuum, as it is in Canada. But cross the border into the USA, according to Wikipedia (and I stand to be corrected by residents of Maine) and sleet becomes ice pellets. For ice pellets and graupel (see – I didn’t forget) see this link.

I now know the difference between hail and ice pellets, where I never even knew there was a difference until this afternoon.

I think that’s enough for now. More on Derbyshire will follow once I have the pie in the oven…

Another Walk at Clumber Park

Stilton cheese improves with age, but knees do not. That point was brought home today as I ate cheese and biscuits tonight after a walk by the lake at Clumber Park. Fifteen years ago I visited the lake for the first time and walked right round it in an afternoon.

Today we went to Clumber Park and selected a suitable car to allow us to park close to where we wanted to be. This saved time and pain, and took us directly to the end where all the birds had clustered last week. This time, of course, they all seemed to be up at the other end.

In two visits I estimate we’ve walked the equivalent of halfway round the lake. I am reminded of the words of Roger McGough:

No, old people do not walk slowly
because they have plenty of time.

We left the main road at the fourth sign (it’s a big place) and followed the network of roads through the estate. First we used the Lime Tree Avenue, the longest double avenue of lime trees in Europe. At “over” or “just under” 2 miles long (depending on where you get your information) and 1,296 trees it’s impressive, though it wouldn’t be practical for my garden.

From there we took a left turn, went through a checkpoint, where we had our cards scanned, and pottered off through the woods, where we saw a buzzard lurking in a tree on the edge. Naturally it flew off as I tried to get the camera on it.

Finally we reached the village of Hardwick, which is slightly confusing, but nothing to do with Hardwick Hall. There are toilets here and a mobile cafe working out of a converted Landrover. This map might help – it’s better than the others I’ve used.

It’s a great walk round this end of the lake, with trees on one side of you and the lake on the other. Over the years this end of the lake has been remodelled by mining subsidence (the estate of the Dukes of Newcastle literally being built on their coal mines) and has a number of skeletal trees standing in the water. When I walked this way fifteen years ago these trees were streaked with white from the many cormorants that sat in them. These days they are cleaner and were occupied by gulls and a male Sparrowhawk. I did see one cormorant, but it flew along low to the water and carried on flying without stopping for a photograph.

Right at the end, as the lake tapers to nothing, we found a group of Shovelers and Goosanders, which added a bit of interest to the walk.

We had a variety of weather on the way round, including rain, sleet and snow. At one point we even had snow that was so icy the noise of it hitting leaves was even louder than the conversation being held by two retired teachers. It appears the school has gone down the pan since they retired. We knew that while they were over 50 yards away – they must have been games or drama teachers with that ability to project their voices.

We decided to call it a day due to the snow and call at The Big Fish at Ollerton. The lure of warmth and food was greater than a look round the Kitchen Garden in the snow. It’s a good place to eat fish and chips (actually better than some coastal chip shops we’ve been to) and there’s nothing like a nice piece of haddock for restoring the spirits on a wintry day.

Next time we’ll look at the Kitchen Garden and the 135 types of rhubarb.

Saturday, books and snow

Saturday stretched ahead, with nothing to do and nobody to do it with (Julia was at work as usual). It was a lovely day, not at all suitable for staying in doing housework, and so I decided that a visit to a bookshop sounded good.

When does a visit to a bookshop ever not sound good?

There’s an element of irony in driving  40 miles to look at books on nature and sustainability, but I can live with that. I can live with most things that allow me to visit a bookshop. Anyway, I’m giving up meat two days a week, grow my own veg and make compost so I’ll allow myself a little backsliding.

It was a patchy journey, mixing sunshine with overcast skies. It improved steadily until I reached Cromford and turned off on the A5012. It’s a minor road, as you can guess from the number. It also runs through a narrow wooded valley, which makes it picturesque in summer (possibly even “bosky”). In winter, it has a tendency to shelter snow and ice in the shadows.

It is known locally as the Via Gellia as it was built in the 18th century by the Gell famiy. They are said to have built it around 1790 to connect their lead mines to the new smelter at Cromford, though it may have been built to serve their quarries as early as 1720. It still has quarries along its length, and large lorries can be a bit of a hazard at times.

Part way up there’s a lay-by with several dozen bird feeders. Someone has obviously made a lot of effort to make and maintain the feeding station. The light was going by the time I stopped, so I couldn’t get any decent photographs of anything that moved, but I did see a variety of birds – Chaffinches, Great tits, Blue Tits, a Coal Tit and a Goldcrest. Somebody is doing good work here.

The bookshop, for once, let me down. Stock has been moved and the nature section seems smaller. I don’t like it when things change. Doesn’t make it a bad bookshop, just one with a cafe, a smaller nature section and a sense of panic when I can’t find things where I normally find them. It will be better next time.

If it isn’t better next time I will have to develop an interest in military history or art, or even the birds of countries I will never visit. There are many ways of working round a situation.

The photographs were taken using my old camera, please ignore the black splodge in the top right corner. As you can see, as I progressed in the journey (and gained height) it became more wintry.

 

 

It was an interesting day on Saturday. Breakfast at Sainsbury’s, which is not quite as glamorous as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, dropped Julia off at work, had a couple of hours on the farm (including solving the fat ball/jackdaw conundrum) and a trip to see my father in Peterborough.

It was all going so well until I went for a cup of tea with my sister, and the weather took a sudden turn for the worse. It was strange, we went into the services on the A1 on a moderate spring day, had tea and scones and then emerged in mid-winter. All in all it was a bit of a Narnia moment.

As you can see in the pictures, there was a fair amount of wintry stuff on the floor, a sort of cross between snow and hail. If I was an Eskimo I’m sure I would know the right word for this sort of snow, but unfortunately I’m not, and I don’t.

There are two possibilities from here, home up the A1 or home via the Northamptonshire countryside. I like Northamptonshire, and I also like the Red Kites you often see along the road between Peterborough and Corby.

As you can see, the weather got better.

The final picture shows a blob of dirt (I was using my old camera) and a Red Kite wheeling just above the tree.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Red Kite over oak tree