By popular demand - well, one person actually - here are some pictures of snowy East Lancashire. This is the steam railway line which runs through the village, with a little station which you can see in the picture. It doesn't run during the week.
I love the crystals that the snow and frost makes on the vegetation but it's devilishly difficult getting a snap as the camera finds it hard to focus on white. So here are stems of the local marsh grass covered in frost. This grass grows in wet, shady spots so it holds the ice crystals well.
Looking down the valley to the south. We have a strange micro-climate in this valley, with a temperature difference of 3-5 degrees from the town 6 miles away. The UPS delivery man was cursing this yesterday when he arrived at my house at 10am to discover not only that we had a lot of snow, but the temperature was still 5 degrees below freezing! We get snow most winters as a result of our climate, and often more than surrounding areas.
There aren't many leaves left on the trees but these red beech leaves are still hanging on in a sheltered spot.
These black sheep arrived here in October and aren't too used to seeing people walk by yet. I think they are Black Welsh Mountain sheep, an old breed suitable for harsh conditions, but if anyone wants to correct me please feel free. In recent years local farmers have been experimenting with older breeds - the grazing round here is variable and in some places poor, so hardy sheep who are happy foraging in the snow and wet are most welcome.
Finally, if you still haven't sorted all your Christmas presents, here's an idea for you. I wanted to get a gardening calendar for my uncle, so had a look on Lulu.com. I couldn't see anything I liked, so decided to make one myself! I took some of my favourite pictures from this year, one for each month, and made them into a calendar using the easy tools on Lulu, it took 30 minutes. I made it and ordered copies on 28th November and they arrived today, so there's still time if you want to do the same. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the paper and binding, and there are lots of options for how it looks. I've made my calendar public, so you can look through it if you like. Just visit Lulu.com and shop for calendars.
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