Saturday, 3 January 2009

Ice Bells

This new camera of mine has been taking some very atmospheric pictures. The sun was low on the horizon as we took a short walk today and provides the only smidgin of colour in this photograph . . .


We seem to be staying around minus 3 overnight, each night. We managed a short walk today, just 40 minutes or so - and that was quite long enough to be out. The pools in the rocks at the side of the river have frozen over, and there's an ice-island in the middle of it, whilst the little feeder stream which runs beneath the lane up our hill, has little ice bells hanging from a streamside branch.

As I was stood waiting for my mum's little geriatric dog Trixie, to come in at dusk, I noticed a bevy of Wrens flitting from tree to wall to roof ridge to guttering, and then - in an obvious pecking order - all popping one by one behind the barge board to snuggle together and keep warm for the night. I moved along the front of the house and found more Wrens queueing up at the other end. I remember reading something in one of my collection of old Countryman magazines about Wrens snuggling up together in an outbuilding.

I was telling my daughter about the dreadful winter of 1962-63, when I was ten years old. It began to snow on Boxing Day and snowed on and off and stayed desperately cold until mid-March. In the New Forest helicopters air-lifted bales of hay for the ponies and cattle, and the small bird population was decimated as birds froze to death overnight as they perched on the trees. I should imagine up in Yorkshire and all points North they had it ten times worse than us in the South (where we rarely got snow). I seem to remember snow drifting to the height of the tops of the telegraph poles in places, and hamlets being cut off for months - again, with provisions being air-lifted in and women in-labour taken out by helicopter too. It was apparently the coldest winter since 1740 . . .



The camera surprised me again with these lovely reflections in the water, like frozen flames.

The ice-island in the middle of the river-bed, protected by one of the bridge stanchions.


Ice formed in the shallow pools beside the river.

Ice-bells dangling above the little stream feeding into our river.

16 comments:

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Those Pictures really look so magical!
We have many Wrens flitting to and fro here but they are enjoying the warmer weather.
I had agiggle when you said "short walk" If I could mange 40 mins I would be thrilled!!! lol!

Greentwinsmummy said...

Jennie those photos are incredible I love the first one,it has an almost menacing feel to it,in a good way,lol I know what I mean!
I shall have to ask my neighbour if she remembers that cold winter,its a tad before I sprung up ,I would love to hear what it was like here then brrr!
GTM x x x

Cheryl said...

Beautiful photographs, so glad that you are enjoying your camera.......we are very cold here ......we have dropped to minus 6.

I love the wren story.....it is so lovely to think of them snuggled together.....they are one of my favourite birds.......

Lindsay said...

I remember that very cold winter during 1963. My mother had had a back operation and I trudged to the local hospital every day through the snow to visit her. We had no central heating and my dad kept the gas oven on all day and night! We lived in Surrey and the snow drifted up against the downstairs windows.

Kelli said...

Gorgeous pictures of the ice and water, Jennie! Happy New Year to you and your family!
~Kelli

Slice of life said...

'ice formed in the shallow pools beside the river'. These are my favourite 2 pictures. Lovely.

happy new year!

sukipoet said...

Beautiful photos. I have two ice photos on my blog today. Sukipoet.blogspot.com.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

What beautiful pictures! They make me cold just looking at them. I can't imagine having a winter like the one you described.

Rowan said...

Great ice photos and the first one with the sun is really lovely. I remember the winter of 1962-63 quite clearly and other winters around then that were very snowy. I lived in a village about 3 miles from the town where I worked and the snow was so bad one year that there were no trains or buses and I walked to work and back again in the evening. It was quite a social event as there were a lot of other people doing the same thing.

thelma said...

They are beautiful photos of the ice, what's the cameras make please?
My memories about that cold winter was walking over the fields(could'nt get by road) to feed the horse and donkey I had at the time, and there being 4 foot deep snowdrift to tackle.

LBP said...

Happy New Year Jennie!

You are certainly doing your new camera justice! What amazing photos.

Blessings

Linda

Tea with Willow said...

Amazing photos! I do feel for the birds in such a cold spell - I just hope they find somewhere in the eaves of our roof to keep snug over night! I can remember my Mum talking about cold winters - I was born in aug 1963, so I'm trying to imagine what a hard winter she must have had with all that snow and a new-born baby!!
Willow x

Bovey Belle said...

WOW! Lots of comments. Thank you all.

Willow - your mum must have worried about you being so little when it was so cold.

LBP - I am really pleased with it, and I'm still at the beginner stage too!

Thelma - the camera isn't amazingly expensive or anything, it's just one up from the Fujifilm camera I had before - this is the Fujifilm Finepix S1000 - it has a 10x magnification (the other Fujifilm had just 3 times magnification) and lots more pixels than I had before (twice as many in fact). It is taking far better photos just pointing and shooting - and yet the old one took some brilliant photos that way too). I can remember snowddrifts up the side of our house in Southampton about 6 feet deep and some brilliant ice-slides on the way to school!

Hi to Sweet Virginia Breeze - wish I could do "warm" right now!!! Hope you will post again.

Rowan - I was 10 then, so still at Junior School. I can imagine the camaraderie as that is what the British do best!

Suki - I shall away to your blog shortly (there is a queue for the computer at the moment!)

Slice of Life - welcome to you too. I was SO pleased when I saw those ice-puddles to photograph.

Kelli - Happy New Year. I couldn't get into the forum today, but hopefully it was just a blip on the internet.

Lindsay - I remember no central heating and the frost patterns on the INSIDE of the windows!

Cheryl - we are officially still minus 3 but some mornings I wonder . . .

GTM - I am sure that R will remember THAT winter - it was very memorable.

Cupcakes - it's a case of building up, with the walking. I can walk forever on the flat - it's the steep hills round here which are murder.

Right, I hope I've not missed anyone out.

Allotment Lady said...

I absolutely adore you wonderful photos and stories etc

Happy New Year

Off to drool at more photos of yours

nancy said...

Oh Boy! The photos are truly amazing! Breathtaking, even.
I have used one of your photos. it's the front of a shop (which I've almost covered up) but it provided the background I wanted for this funny postcard!
You can see it HERE
Nancy

Bovey Belle said...

Allotment Lady - good to see you again. Enjoy!

Nancy - glad you like the photos - I'm very pleased with the new camera, and it wasn't a particularly expensive one. I've left a comment on your art blog - VERY GOOD! I recognize the shop too : )