Saturday, 18 December 2010

New Forest Snow

After days of icy winds and frozen water, the snow fell again last night.

Tree and branch, heath and gorse were lost beneath glistening white. A commoner`s cow had lost her companions and strode anxiously across a strange landscape, lowing plaintively until she was answered by more cattle, somewhere in the gorse up on the hill.

Hearing familiar voices, she set off through snowy bracken, to find her bovine friends.

Ponies searched for holly in a hedgerow. Pulling on a branch with her strong teeth, the bright bay mare dislodged a sudden shower of icing sugar snow onto her back.

The old , white-grey mare dozed in fitful sunlight.

Hazy white clouds, powder blue skies and a tracery of glistening snowy trees.

Searching for food among holly leaves. In the old hedge bank are rabbit holes beneath the tangled roots.

The view across the moor............

.....and up to the ancient hill fort, covered now with snow topped gorse and trees.

Looking up into a beech tree, I found a broken branch, lodged amongst its fellows, waiting for wind or storm to send it crashing to the ground.


Out of the bosom of the air,
Out of the cloudfolds of her garment shaken,
Over the woodlands, brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, soft and slow
Descends the snow.

by H.W. Longfellow


Morning's Minion said...

So beautiful--and so cold!
I would have thought holly too prickly to appeal as forage for horses or cattle, do they sort through it for something better? The cold is so hard on the older animals, but it does look as though the landscape has places to tuck in out of the wind. I'm always intrigued by the sight of a horse asleep on its feet.

Bovey Belle said...

Oh how absolutely beautiful.

Kath said...

Gorgeous! I especially liked the solitary tree.

WOL said...

I'm sitting here with a lap robe on and a warm kitty sleeping in my lap, thinking how beautiful the snowy landscape is. I can't help but feel sorry for the poor animals, the lonesome cow and the ponies left to cope as best they can. I think my favorite photo is the second one down from the white mare. I like how the dark branches are silhouetted against the sky.

Dartford Warbler said...

It was beautiful yesterday, but today everything is grey, freezing and slippery. The animals are hungry and stand hunched against the east wind. My day has been a round of feeding and breaking ice, topping up the bird table and the wild bird feeders, and then coming indoors for an hour to warm up again.

MM- the ponies do eat holly and gorse, prickles and all! One day I must take a photo of the thick hairy moustaches that most New Forest ponies have, to protect their mouths and muzzles from the spikes.

The commoner who owns the cattle around our village does feed them. He brings up bales of hay on the front of his tractor which we hear rumbling up the hill in the late afternoon.

Ferris Jay said...

Beautiful pictures.
We have a beautiful clear sunny day today, but it is still very cold - and like you, I'm, spending a lot of time outside keeping water unfrozen for our ducks .. and making sure that the wild birds get food too.
I find the snowy tree branches particularly attractive and pretty.