Sunday 31 January 2021

A Month of Snow in Pictures

The Cromdale Hills, January 23

For the first time in many years there has been snow on the ground throughout January. Snow has fallen on most days too, sometimes thick and heavy, sometimes just a fine trickle. Temperatures have rarely been above freezing, even at midday. However winds have mostly been light. There's not been much sunshine and often there has been dense mist. January can be a dark month when there's no snow and little sunshine. Not this year. The snow has given a lightness to the landscape.

Due to the lockdown every trip has been from my front door and I've never been more than a few miles from home except when driving the five miles into town once a week for groceries. 

Mist, January 3

The snow was thin  down in the glen at the start of the month, though somewhat thicker a few hundred metres higher as I found when I went up a local hill and wished I'd taken snowshoes.

View to the Cairngorms from Tom Mor, January 6

Birch in snow, January 7

At the end of the first week the snow began to build up lower down; heavy, wet snow that clung to the trees and thickened the air.

Pines in snow, January 8

Throughout the month the peanut and sunflower feeders in the garden have emptied every day. As well as many birds red squirrels visit regularly, sometimes five at a time, and rabbits come to the door for food. The snow looks lovely but makes life harsh for wildlife.

Squirrel in snow, January 11

The high Cairngorms, some twenty miles away, were often hidden but looked spectacular when they rose into view above the misty forest.

Cairn Gorm, January 15

In the middle of the month there was a slow thaw for a few days though not enough to remove most of the snow. 

Thawing, January 16

When the snow returned it was heavier than ever, leading to the deepest of the month. Walking became difficult and I turned to skis.

Skis, January 22

Ski tracks at sunset, January 24

Squalls of snow swept the land for several days, interspersed with bursts of sunshine.

Snow squalls, January 29

The month has ended with calm, cloudy weather, the snow still deep. Will it last through February?

Old ski tracks, January 31

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