Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Woolly Winter Tales


What I can I tell you, we have snow. Is there any part of the UK that doesn’t have snow? I wonder.

The sheep in the next field seem quite unperturbed

snow covered sheep -1

They are fed daily, which seems to make them happy.

contented sheep -1 

It took a wee while to find a sheep that would look me in the eye, as most had their backs to the wind (and wind chill).

Wind from the east-1

I can vaguely remember a farmer telling me this is how sheep end up stuck in snow drifts, they keep working their way along, keeping the wind behind them, scratting for grass until they run out of field and the snow piles in behind them.

heading out of the wind-1

He also told me in the winter of 1963 that whilst many of his flock perished in snow drifts, some were able to survive by eating their own fleece.

But there are people better qualified to comment of sheep and snow, have a look at herdy’s blog, up in Cumbria.

cold nose sheep-1

We’ve just watched a cracking little programme on BBC2 about the winter of ‘63 (flighty, it is worth watching on iplayer (Winterwatch)

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

13 thoughts on “Woolly Winter Tales

  1. Your photos are wonderful ! What a magical landscape you have and you’ve captured the beauty of the snowfall, so well.
    I look forward to visiting again 🙂

  2. I was a student in ’63 and well remember not getting to play a single game of hockey after Christmas. That’s what I call a bad winter.

  3. The fact that the snow that lands on the sheep’s backs doesn’t melt means that their fleece has insulated them to the point where there is no heat loss. Heat loss or no, however, they can’t survive without food. Thanks for the new word, “scrat” — not one I’ve heard before.

  4. Such bleak beauty! Thanks for the mention, and that link which I shall probably watch later today. xx

  5. I remember the winter of ’63, I was a 12 year old schoolboy, I was walking the mile or so to and from school on compacted six foot snowdrifts for weeks. It was so cold my years would sting. As we say in Wales “I was there!”. Things have changed so much, now we get a flurry of snow and all the schools close, and in the 21st century? Are we making progress?

  6. Glad that you finally received the “gift of snow that you’d been awaiting. We usually have so much that it is really just a pain. But this year, we have had only one snowfall, and there is still about 6 in. still on the ground. Very depressing after months of not seeing the grass.

  7. Tomorrow we can take Bing out for his first proper walk – so I will arm myself with a camera as your scenes have so inspired me.

  8. Pingback: Snow Fair « Town Mouse

  9. Well, we have much snow and frost over here too – but not such wonderful sheep – great photos! 😉

  10. I watched the 63 documentary and it must have been horrific. My mum in law had two toddlers, and remembers sleeping in the living room with them , as the coal fire in there was the only heat source in the house. By jings, what a soft lot we’ve become!

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