March snow in Heswall…

Van Morrison’s 1973 song Snow in San Anselmo (the first track on the album Hard Nose the Highway) captures a California town experiencing snow for the first time. The song gives you the sense that time stops and everyone is silently taking in the snowy scenery around them for the first time.

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From the last verse of the song:

Snow in San Anselmo

My waitress my waitress my waitress

Said it was coming down

Said it hadn’t happened in over 30 years

But it was laying on the ground

But it was laying on the ground

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Well we’re not in California and we’ve had snow before in Heswall but my elderly neighbours said we haven’t had it as deep as this in the last 25 years.  We had around eight or nine inches of snow and considering it started on 22 March the day after the first day of Spring, it is unusual and given that Wirral being next to the sea tends to have milder weather it is even more out of keeping with the regular pattern of weather.

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Nature’s a fickle thing.  The Jackdaws perched high in the snow covered tree tops wondering what season its is and the magnolia buds breaking through snow encrusted leaves alongside a single camelia flower heralding a Spring which hasn’t quite arrived.

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I had a walk down to Gayton Roundabout with my camera.  A lot of tree branches had broken under the weight of snow.  In the two small triangular woods next to the roundabout many Scots Pine branches had fallen blocking the paths.

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Some branches had fallen onto the road way bringing down telephone cables.  As I slithered home on Friday night in a snow storm a large branch had fallen blocking the road at the end of Storeton Lane which the queue of motorists had to move in order for us to get out onto Barnston Road.

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As I slithered around walking on the pavement one intrepid explorer strode out on his cross country skis soon disappearing into the distance down Barnston Road.

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By Sunday afternoon whilst the pavements are still under many inches of snow the main roads are now clear.  The thatched Devon Doorway pub and restaurant looked inviting with its extra layer of snow on its roof in the afternoon sunshine.

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Snow in Storeton

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On Friday most of Britain saw the first real snow of the winter.  The snow was heaviest in south Wales and in the south and midlands.  Wirral being on the coast tends usually not to get too much snow but Friday saw a few centimeters fall across the whole of the peninsula as well.

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Our normal weekend dog walk in Storeton Woods gave us the opportunity to walk through this black and white world.  During the morning a fine sleety snow had started to fall which gave a further very fine dusting on the trees.

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Lots of families with young children were out enjoying the snow safely wrapped up against the cold but someone had lost their tiger hat which a passerby had thoughtfully placed on the sign at one of the entrances to the woods …

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In many areas the snow was melting and the wet saturated ground meant there were pools of icy dark water.

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In the fields between the woods and Storeton village the farmers were rounding up the sheep from the snowy grazing land to take them to another field or maybe even to market.

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The snow had enveloped all the plants of the woods with a thick blanket of white fluffy snow.

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And the trees were all painted with a white dressing of snow on their windward side.

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Not many birds were out, I manged to see a colourful Jay in Hancocks Wood but it was too elusive to capture a picture.  But I did get to see a Robin redbreast on a green tree in amongst the woods.

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Many interesting features were dusted in snow on our walk today.

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In a few weeks the winter will have passed and the bare branches will start to see buds forming and bursting open to reveal their leaves to soak up the coming summer’s sunshine, but they will be barren for a few more weeks yet.

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I wonder what weather we will have in 2013…