Shepherd’s Warning

Parc Gwair in snow

As dawn broke this morning it revealed a very different sunrise to that of the previous day.  Before I’d even hauled my sleepy self from under the duvet & pile of snoozing cats I could tell that this day would be different; the early halflight brightening the window had that strange opalescent glow which increasingly manifested itself as the sun rose over the valley.  The moon was still high in the sky; a bright, glowing ball which enhanced the surreal nature of the unfolding scene.  The snow had silently fallen on every surface untouched by the slightest breath of wind.  As such every twig, every branch, every blade of grass was completely transformed; with the woods cloaked in leaves of purest white.  It was an extraordinary scene.  But for me, the rosy blush to the rising sun called to mind the old rhyme:  

  Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight; Red sky in the morning…shepherd’s warning. 

  The several of inches of snow covering every single surface meant that there would be hard times ahead; possibly for days or even weeks to come….not an enticing prospect when working alone.   One thing was for sure: I was well-&-truly snowed in again & would simply have to grit my teeth & get on with things.

After my favourite breakfast of soft-boiled eggs & homebaked wholemeal toast I headed out into the crisp white world to tackle the chores.  The pipes were once again, completely frozen; plus there was the immediate task of creating pathways across all the farmyards so that I could safely move barrowloads of hay, bedding & feed to the ponies, poultry & goats inhabiting the various outbuildings dotted about the three farmyards.  This task kept me occupied (& at least warm!) for much of the day although of course I made time to feed the sheep & walk the dog, who adores the snow & enters second puppyhood every time he steps out into it.
As evening approached the bitter cold intensified.  After a heartwarming meal of sausages & mash, heaped up with freshly-steamed veggies & ladled with lashings of gravy I huddled close to the cheery comfort of the woodburner & settled down to some serious Welsh language revision. 
This morning’s red sky has unsettled me; delicately exquisite in hues of coral & rose though it was, I suspect that there is treachery in that deceptive beauty: with more worrying weather on the way….

Sunrise over the Western Valley, 2nd Jan 2010


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Diary, Goats, January 2010, Life, Livestock, Nature, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Shepherd’s Warning

  1. I know how difficult the conditions must have made your life – but the resulting photos are stunning!

  2. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thanks, Jo. I literally wandered round the dawn-breaking farm with a camera, captivated mind & stun-dropped jaw…so much beauty it was almost sensory overload! Thank goodness it was soooo cold; kept it all in shiveringly sharp perspective.

    Mind you I am in awe of your winter photos, too – wonderful. You’ve had such a struggle this Winter: I am in awe. Roll on Spring & new beginnings heh.

    And don’t forget there is ice cream here with your name on it…!!

  3. paula says:

    What stunning photos Jo! Though all that beauty comes at a huge cost to you I know….I’m just going to pop along onto your flikr photos.
    You know how brave and resolute I think you are for enduring that length of time alone in extraordinarily harsh conditions.

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