February began with snow. The deep freeze that ended January moved into the heaviest and most prolonged snow that we’ve seen for several years. I’ve got photos from when we moved here in the 1990s, and we regularly had a foot of snow, or more, each winter. Now we lament that all we get is a small snowfall that melts overnight! So far this winter we have experienced prolonged freezes, gales, hailstorms and finally by mid February most of Aberdeenshire was snowed in and paralysed for several days!
It made for a mainly indoor month, with outside photography limited to the garden!
The frost and snow added a sparkle to everything in the garden. Even these hydrangea flower heads I haven’t cut can glow in the winter!
And the bad weather did bring us some unexpected visitors – blew them into our garden!
Fieldfares took refuge in our garden. We rarely see fieldfares, but a small group visited our garden and enjoyed the cotoneaster berries from our hedge. They must have resumed their flight south to warmer places to overwinter, as they are gone now! We hope that they will make a regular stop-over here.
Towards the middle of the month the weather got seriously bad, and the village, indeed most of the entire county, was snowed in by Storm Darcy. We have thousands of miles of roads in Aberdeenshire, many of them small rural roads, and single track. So many local farmers have snow clearing equipment that they can attach to tractors, and help to clear the roads.
For us there was an additional anxiety, as the storm hit just as we were due to go for our first Covid vaccination!
The vaccine roll-out in Scotland has picked up speed during February. By the end of the month about 30% of our population have received their first jag. And our turn came as the snow fell! We had to cancel, and try again when the snow began to melt, and the traffic began to move again!
Even after the worst of the snow had been cleared, it made for a treacherous journey! The round trip of over 30 miles was quite daunting. Initially we went to check out the location of the centre, and the availability of parking. Once there, we enquired, and were so relieved to discover that they could vaccinate us then – they had the information about our snowed-in cancellation. We were only a few days late! So we only needed to drive through the slush and meltwater once.
The garden was slow to release its snowy grip – areas of the garden were buried deep as the high winds had blown the powdery snow into drifts. Here an azalea bush was almost completely covered.
And as I had a folder full of snow images, and nowhere to go – I played in Photoshop making snow abstracts!
So – as the white month draws to a close, it is time once again to look back over the photographic images I posted on Flickr, before moving on to the new month of March.
And on to March, and has Spring arrived?
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