........there is a further five inches of snow. Yesterday, after a pleasant sunny morning with drips, at about half past two it began to snow - heavily. It snowed until five o'clock and put down five inches of new stuff which blew about in the sharp easterly wind, blocking up doorways and covering windows. Now, this morning, it is snowing again - no blizzard this, just gentle flakes. Meanwhile, the farmer is whizzing up and down the drive with the tractor and bucket, shovelling up the snow by the load and dumping it on the side of the lane. I have mixed feelings about this - yes it is nice to have the drive clear but the heaps of dirty snow on the sides of the lane do destroy that lovely, white, pristine scene - and they do take a long time to go when the thaw finally arrives.
Birds have flocked to the feeding station - woodpecker and fieldfare were here before it was properly light - and we keep putting out fresh supplies. The black farm cat does his prowl to see if there is any food which takes his fancy, while the birds move up into the branches of the trees to watch him warily.
When the farmer went out with the dogs at daybreak I stuck the camera in his hand and asked him to take one or two photographs from the back door. I love the one of the Christmas wreath on the door - looking like a Christmas wreath should look, I suppose. The view down the farm yard doesn't seem to have a single footprint on it, but no doubt, when the farmer does his rounds, he will find fox prints - for the fox also keeps his eye open for any food that is going.
Goint back to my earlier post "What are we creating", where I questioned the idea of feeding the birds - Gina, of BT (see my blog list) asked her step-daughter, who works for the RSPB, for her view and she has kindly printed it in the comments. It seems that the official view is that it is sensible to feed them - and certainly in this weather many would not survive without our help. Yesterday there was a dead chaffinch under the bird table. There is no doubt that in order to keep warm they have to feed constantly in this cold.
Today will be another of those days when the sensible option will be to sit by the fire with a good book (I am still ploughing through "Wolf Hall" so I have plenty to go at). Luckily there is still plenty of good food left from Christmas and New Year, and a full freezer. And let's face it, the snow does look so pretty when you don't have to go out in it. Keep warm!
## Looking at the photos you will see that the one of the front walled garden is facing due South just as the sun is rising; the one looking down the farmyard is facing due North, where our weather is coming from - the sky says it all, I think.