Very early this morning we woke to this beautiful scene.
Heavy snow fell through the early hours, covering our village (and most of the UK) in a white blanket.
I don’t like snow. Yes it’s pretty to look at, but for me the novelty soon wears off.
The roofing to the walk-in chicken runs need attention, well, they need completely replacing to be fair and weight bearing snow really didn’t help matters, but we managed to clear most of it off the sheeting before it turns to ice and completely buckles the structures. This all took quite a bit of time today and our toes and fingers were really throbbing. The chickens were very suspicious of the snow and dull white sky, choosing to spend time inside the coops, sulking.
However, at least one member of the garden smallholding enjoyed it…..
She loved every moment of the snow, she’s sprawled out on the sofa snoring now.
We visited one of our favourite places to walk yesterday, a chance to give our dog a good run and sniffing adventure before the anticipated storm arrived to knock our socks off. It was also a great opportunity to take some photos of beautiful Browns Wood at this magical time of year.
It was a perfect autumnal day and the woods offered plenty of beautiful subjects to photograph. Glowing Field Maple leaves caught my attention, the exotic colour highlighted further by sunlight streaming down onto the tree branches from above.
Looking around at the ground I often find things of interest, like this forgotten tree stump covered in a thick coat of Ivy.
Dried teasel line a long path, separating the new section of woodland from the field beyond. Long grasses sway in the wind, wildflower seed heads rattle eerily, scattering seeds everywhere.
Deeper into the ancient woods, light struggled to filter through from above, creating dramatic light, colour and long shadows.
Exiting the ancient woods, dark and dramatic shadows greet the light from the fields beyond.
Heavy rain fell overnight and it appears our location escaped the damaging wind. Looking at news reports today, others were not so lucky with gusts of up to 105 mph, trees coming down, flooding and loss of power.
It was Good Friday yesterday, the traditional day for planting ‘ones’ potatoes. Easter is earlier than usual this year and soil conditions are not right for planting out spuds at the moment, we decided to give the allotment a miss and made our way to Browns Wood instead. You can’t waste a rain-free bank holiday!
Although it wasn’t raining the weather is stuck on constant ‘freeze-your-bits-off mode’, we wrapped up warm and walked the short distance to Browns Wood entrance. We’re incredibly fortunate to have beautiful woodland such as this right on our doorstep.
Fallow land adjoining Browns Wood was used to mark the millennium with 26,000 trees planted and paid for by the Forestry Commission, set out with pathways and large open areas of grassland, the tree planting scheme extended the woodland site by 31 acres. This area is also known as Millennium Browns Wood. The main trees are Ash, Oak, and Field Maple with Beech and Hornbeam at the top of the hill. Excellent views over Bedfordshire can be seen from this area.
There’s a public bridleway path via Oakley village entrance to Browns Wood, it’s also a great place to walk dogs.
Teasel can be found everywhere at the millennium site of Browns Wood. Visited by bees and butterflies when in flower and birds when seeding.
We continued on and made our way to the oldest part Browns Wood. This beautiful ancient woodland dates back to around 1750 and was planted by the Duke of Bedford. Full of mature trees and woodland plants, it’s an important area for many species of wildlife and a magical place to wander through.
The odd spell of sunshine managed to filter through the canopy of naked trees (wearing nothing but years of ivy), illuminating the woodland floor.
Fallen trees blanketed in a rich woodland carpet, the perfect habitat for many species of wildlife.
The forest floor glittered in shades of green. New shoots emerging to find the light, protected from the cruel weather by ancient woodland guards standing to attention.
After an enjoyable walk we made our way back home, cold but recharged by being outdoors.
I was and still am fit to burst with pride to see my little blog, a place where I share my passion for growing food, wildlife, living an organic way of life and looking after chickens, up there, featured on the Freshly Pressed page. Wow! Thank you to all my new followers, those who stopped by and liked my post and those who left a comment or two. I tried my best to keep up (I really did), I still can’t quite believe my stats page!
Speaking of being ‘fit to burst’ this is the bridge into our sleepy village. I took this photo one summer, tall reeds dominated the slow flowing river and all was calm:
I ventured down to the bridge yesterday. The water levels are dangerously high due to recent weather, more heavy rain forecast for tonight and I suspect the river will rise again, flooding the bridge at the top, just out of sight of the photo. The river has already burst its banks, swallowing up parts of the river walk near the church. The bridge will probably be closed by morning. Oh dear!