Slow painting

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter solstice


Having finished up at work yesterday I had time for a quick dash to the allotment this afternoon, in between Christmas shopping and preparing for our annual Christmas pilgrimage to Speyside. For the past fortnight I've had a horrible cold-with-a-tinge-of-flu, and keeping plugging away at work has left me drained at weekends and only fit to take to bed so that I'm able to go to work on Monday. So no trips to the allotment at weekends, and on weekdays I leave home in the dark and get home in the dark. But with a fresh fall of snow and hard frost I wanted to see how the broccoli cage was faring.

It was mid afternoon by the time I set out, and I caught the brief glow of the solstice sunset. I was relieved to see that the cage was still standing, but it was suffering from the 'wrong' kind of snow, just as Britain's airports and railways have been suffering in the past weeks.


The snow had a woven effect, a bit like the cellular blankets which we keep in the loft for the very occasional warm summer night when duvets are too much.



All this softness was deceptive. As I knocked the snow off the netting, I dislodged one of the supporting poles, and saw that it was bent by the weight of the snow. At this point I was stuck: the ground was frozen hard, so that even if I managed to pull out the pegs holding the netting in place and get underneath to fix the pole, I wouldn't be able to push them back into the soil. So I jiggled and coaxed the pole back in to the balls at either end, and left it all balancing precariously. I fully expect to come back after New Year and find the whole lot on the ground, with pigeons sitting on top gorging on my baby kale.

The kink in the pole in the photo below shows the effect of all those feather-light snowflakes.

12 comments:

Jo said...

The snow can certainly cause a lot of damage. I'm glad I haven't left any netting up at the allotment now. Hope you're feeling better soon.

Green Lane Allotments said...

The sunset photo is beautiful Linda but snow is deceptive isn't it and destructive.

Mark Willis said...

Linda, that sunset picture is great. I've tried very hard to capture something similar, but my photos always come out looking nondescript. Maybe the new camera that Santa Claus is bringing me will manage a bit better...

donna said...

You're having quite a winter, aren't you? So very sorry that you've been feeling poorly. I hope that by the time you read this comment, you're feeling full of pep.

Snow is beautiful and at the same time, it can be very destructive. We have more than a foot of snow on the ground now and spring seems very far away.

Wishing you the best,

donna

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Thanks for visiting Oakland Daily Photo. I know what you mean about turned out well when you leave the house. My uniform is jeans and a turtleneck with layers of outerwear for the rain and cold.

Speaking of the solstice, we had a full eclipse of the moon. Despite the rainy weather, the overcast cleared enough around 10 p.m. local time to see the eclipse occur. First time in 450 years an full eclipse of the moon has occurred on the winter solstice. Cool, huh?

Happy Holidays,

Carolyn

lina@women's perspectives said...

Linda, we live in a very different place. I've never touched snow...

Take care, be safe :)

Elettra said...

I wish you a Christmas filled with much peace and happiness

Ali said...

I am a sucker for all these snow photos, talk about living vicariously. It looks so pretty :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hello there from what is usually the Great White North , Canada .. but it seems yo are getting more of our usual weather than we are!
I love your beautiful pink picture for Winter Solstice .. I am a skyfan as well as a gardener and that was such a trea to see : )
I hope you feel better soon and that you have a very Happy New Year !
Joy : )

fer said...

Very beautiful photos! I hope you had a very merry christmas!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I hope you are feeling better soon, and the snow melts enough to lighten the load on your structure.

I am pleased the days are getting longer now.

Mike said...

Beautiful red glow!