Monday, 23 January 2017

Gwaith 17: Snow in Corris

Haia Pawb (Hiya Everyone)

A couple of weeks ago, we had a little bit of snow, though the temperature wasn't cold enough for it to do more than settle in nooks and crannies on the tops of the hills surrounding the town. However, this morning I woke up to snow covering the ground and still falling.

View out my bedroom window
After taking some photos from the front door of Stiwdio Maelor, I threw on some clothes, including my waterproof overpants, and went for a walk.

From the Stiwdio Maelor doorway
When I first wandered up the road, the snow was falling so fast I thought I might not last too long. However, it slowed down after a few minutes and after I took some photos close to the village, I went up past The Italian House.

A field just down the road 
Birds dancing on the snow?
Today was not my first experience of snow. I have visited snow fields near Melbourne. However, this is the first time I've actually experienced walking through softly falling snow and walking on a thick covering of snow. One thing I noticed was the sound of my boots with every step on snow that no one else had traversed, a crunch-pop as the weight broke through the top layer of snow crust and burst through to the softer stuff below. Not quite the snap-crackle-pop of that old TV ad for Rice Bubbles, but close.

Below are more photos from my walk:

My footprints 
The Italian House
The trail to the lookout
Once I brushed away the snow from a flat slab of slate, my usual meditation spot at the lookout, I sat down to absorb the view of white crusted trees, swaths of snow on nearby rocks and smothering the bases of trees, and the distant slopes half hidden by mist, half bleached by snow.

Distant view from the lookout
Closer view of trees

Some ruins at the lookout
The Arthurian pool at the back of the lookout
From the pool
Whenever the traffic from the main road on the other side of the valley disappeared, all I could hear were the occasional creaks of pine trees as they bore the weight of snow, the constant tumble of water into a pool to my right, and the soft plops of snowdrops on my jacket. Every now and then a robin, a coal tit, a tree sparrow or some other hidden bird would trill, tweet, chirp or chit-chit-churr its appreciation or annoyance at the chilly whiteness around us.

An old slate miner's house
The trail down the other side of the hill
By a local kid
By the time I returned to Corris, the road was wet with snowmelt, and, as the day wore on, the snow disappeared, drawn up by the hidden sun’s heat into a mist that hung over the valley.

Corris in Snow
As always, I hope you enjoy this post and I welcome your comments.

Cofion Cynnes

What do you think? More tomorrow!
PS. I realise I have been quite lax in posting news of my travels. My excuse is that I have been busy with the Christmas trip to Germany to catch up with Jo and with tackling my 3000+ words a day of draft three work (which has not been entirely successful), plus Welsh language and landscape immersion. I’ll write another post soon to let you know the status of things. Thanks again for your ongoing support.


Inge Thornton said...

Glad you enjoyed the snow, Earl. I stayed in the house all day and dud my best to avoid it!

Inge Thornton said...

Did, not dud!

Catherine Bateson said...

It looks beautiful, Earl - quiet and mysteriously homely.

Anonymous said...

Hi Earl, Congratulations on being a Great Uncle again to Eric Michael Bahr. Also with each blog I look forward to some great photos. You have not disappointed, I love the birds footprints in the Snow and the mist in the mountains. Enjoy your day. Bill & Astrid

Earl Livings said...

Hi Inge, I figured you meant 'did' :) I can understand your staying in, as you've probably seen enough snow in your life and experienced the downside: slush, frozen windscreens, etc. I enjoyed the scene because it was my first time. The magic might wear off if I come back to Corris often enough...I wish. Cheers.

Hi Catherine, I love your phrase 'mysteriously homely'. Yes, it was, especially as I feel so much at home in Wales. All the best.

Earl Livings said...

Hi Astrid and Bill, And congratulations to you two as new grandparents and of course to Allan, Jo and Eric for their new family! Thanks for the appreciation of the blogs. I enjoyed those bird footprints, too; so unexpected that a bird would traipse around the snow like that. Have a great day yourselves. See you in a few weeks. Love, Earl

Elizabeth Jane Corbett said...

Some lovely descriptive prose! Thanks for sharing your walk with us.

Carole Poustie said...

Great photos and words, Earl. Felt as if I had been teleported to Wales!

Peter Farrar said...

How odd to look through a window at outside furniture as it sits there waiting on milder days. Some way off I'd guess. I remember being at Mt Baw Baw years ago and the incredible silence except for the crispness of my footsteps. I'm sure those sights will find their way into your work.

Declan Foley said...

Glad you enjoyed the experience Earl, I like your description "snow melt" which we call slush:)



Earl Livings said...

Thanks Liz, Carole, Peter and Declan for your appreciative words.

Declan, 'slush' sounds so messy, but can be the right word at times. The 'snow melt' I experienced was thinner and disappeared quicker than what I imagine 'slush' to be.

Peter, I too hope that such experiences help the writing in some way, which is one reason I came here in the first place. I like your description of the silence and crisp footsteps. I almost think I'm intruding with my sounds in that type of silence.

Carole, Well, I hope I'm equally as good at transporting the readers of my novel when I finish it and send it around for comment. I'm over 75% done of the third draft. Lots still to do. I hope your own work is going well.

Liz, In a few months you'll be here to experience again the wonders, which I'm sure will influence the new novel. Good luck with it.

Lyn Mitchell said...

Hi Earl You are probably back in Australia by now. I've had three months of being a bit more than just sick. End the year worn out and started getting asthma and then landed into the Storm Asthma thing and ended up in hospital 8 days being seriously ill with diabetes, pancreas, asthma and a few other things. It's stopped me in my tracks for 3 months and the brain won't work along with the physical lethargy. So I haven't been up to reading your posts. The photos are beautiful. I saw snow falling in Japan for my first time and it is a wonder to the soul. Not so much when you have to shovel out the drive though. Your Wales seems to have lost itself in the decades - it's rocky outcrops could be hiding chieftains of old watching you.

I missed what the Italian House was. It looks like a cemetery. See you sometime in 2017 I'm sure.