OK, maybe the heading is a little dramatic, but as the last post was "Hiking in the Snow", and I didn't just want to do a part 2, I thought this would suit.
I actually woke up to find a picture of our house, WHALE End, on Twitter. Our neighbour had taken the photo from their house, explaining to a friend why they would not be over later for lunch. The snow actually continued from that point on for most of the day, so the depth just kept increasing.
It goes without saying that it's a lot harder to walk in the snow. I can do my 10 mile route in just over two hours (admittedly by jogging some of it). Today, it took me over three hours. Much of this involved 'high-stepping' through deep snow, feet sliding, and generally struggling to get a decent grip.
But it was beautiful and quiet out in the countryside! The blanket of snow muffled the sound, and sometimes, silence was the only thing that could be heard. I saw no deer today, though of course there were plenty of tracks to be seen. I saw the buzzard again, in the same rough position as when it had been trying to scare the pigeons out a couple of day previously. The bird gave a solitary cry to break the silence, and then flew away as soon as I tried to get a photo. That buzzard does not like to be filmed!
It was only on the last few miles that I even saw any pheasants. With the exception of one, even these animals flew away silently, instead of the garbled, warbling chatter they normally give. It was as though even the animals had agreed that today should be a silent one, in respect of the snow.
This route takes me through a tunnel and under the railway line at one point, and then across the lines as I head back later. Consequently, I usually hear the trains sounding their warning horn to clear pedestrians off the line. Today, all was silent. When I came to the line, with the tracks only partially visible above the snow, it was apparent why this was.
All in all, it was a beautiful walk. It was a tough one though. My 10kg backpack seemed to be gaining weight as I walked, so stopping for a pint at the end, it was a relief to take the load off my back. Beer was duly administered, consumed, and enjoyed.
One time soldier, part-time author, full-time training manager, husband and father.