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A snowy spring

March 15, 2013

Can you feel the change coming? The change in the season, that is. The first scent of it here came in the last few days of February. It was freezing cold then, with a round red moon rising over the frosty fields at night. Yet through the cold you could smell brown earth, and just sense somehow that the sap is rising and that everywhere, underfoot and in the trees, there is the beginning of growth.

And then it snowed again.

Snow is always good weather as far as dogs are concerned.

Snow is always good weather as far as dogs are concerned.

We are in our fourth month of snowfalls now, a good bright cold winter. There has been a pattern of a couple of weeks of snow, followed by a couple of thaw, on repeat since the beginning of December. The ice on the lochan thaws, then freezes, thaws, then freezes. A little patch of water is kept clear by the pair of swans, swimming in circles and carefully breaking the edges of the ice with their large black feet. Wild ducks gather there gratefully. A smart black and white tufted duck turns up amongst the mallards from time to time, and a couple of mornings ago a solitary barnacle goose appeared on the ice, looking uncertainly across the circle of water towards the much larger swans on the other side. When I looked again, he had lost his nerve and vanished.

dancingbeastie.com, 15.3.13-1

More snow is forecast for tomorrow. There’s no doubt about it, however. The smell of the earth; the visiting birds on the lochan; the cry of lapwings and oyster catchers in their flight over the fields, and the first little crocuses and daffodils budding in the snow: spring is coming. Quite a contrast to last year’s balmy temperatures and early green, but the season is changing at last.

dancingbeastie.com, 15.3.13-3

dancingbeastie.com, 15.3.13-4

You might enjoy Snowstorms and a study in scarlet.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Toffeeapple permalink
    March 15, 2013 7:22 pm

    I am thoroughly bored with snow, I long to be outside without coat, hat, gloves and scarf. I do hope it comes soon.

    • March 15, 2013 8:07 pm

      I do know what you mean….but I love winter, which is just as well, living here! 🙂

  2. March 15, 2013 9:12 pm

    Oh my goodness you have a LOT of snow. We had a light dusting, which was pretty and then soon vanished. I prefer it that way – I love snow, but I don’t like the ice. How’s the new pup settling in?

    • March 17, 2013 6:08 pm

      Sian, I loved your pictures of snow on the Hoy hills, but seem to be having trouble being able to comment on them. I think Blogger doesn’t like us WordPress types! Will keep trying.
      The puppy has settled in amazingly well and is a joy to teach. She is the bounciest dog I have ever come across but just loves learning, and has become great friends with our old Westie, thank goodness. Hmm, perhaps it’s time I wrote an update on her.

  3. March 15, 2013 9:57 pm

    I am ready for it. What I don’t like so much about the first half of March is the hints of spring and then these bouts of winter again. The body needs to re-adapt all the time….and especially when that first smell of spring has been there, it’s difficult to take a step back again! On top of that, our stairwell deliciously smell of orangeblossoms, as that is where the small orange trees are kept over the winter….makes me think of the patios from the South od Spain and the sugar coated bonbons from France…while outside it has -7 degrees..

    • March 17, 2013 6:10 pm

      Yes, I agree with you about the difficulty of these false starts at spring. How wonderful to have orange trees in your stairwell, though!
      By the way, I am so glad that you are still dropping in on the blogosphere despite having called it a day on your own beautiful blog. It’s always nice to hear from you. 🙂

  4. March 16, 2013 8:09 am

    It’s so good to wake up and hear the birds singing – you know that the season is turning, no matter whether the ground is white outside. Love your photos!

  5. March 17, 2013 2:58 pm

    Lovely photos and evocative words that lift the spirit. We too have the singing birds, but that’s virtually the only sign of spring here in our Welsh hills. I can’t even say winter’s been bright as I can’t remember such a long cloudy spell of weather – months and months with very little sunshine. Take care and keep warm – your forecast isn’t very good.

    • March 17, 2013 6:14 pm

      Months of dreich weather are certainly a challenge to the spirits, so I am glad to help provide a little lift! I must admit that it’s been absolutely vile here this weekend, with sleet and wind and all things yucky. Somehow cold weather seems colder at this time of year, when one is longing for a little warmth. We were very spoilt last March.

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