But I was wrong. Right at the beginning of January, I noticed white blossoms on one of the trees in the garden. At first I thought it was just another Old Man's Beard - a wintery eruption of white cotton-like plumes on many of our bushes. But no. These were actual flowers. In January! Then I noticed it at school too - there were yellow blossoms on the branches covering the headmistresses house. And then I saw pink blossoms at a friend's house. Could it be that in England Spring starts in January?
Wrong again. A week later, the entire countryside was covered in a thick white blanket of heavy snow. It snowed hard all day long for three days within a week. School was called off, and Zach and I made snow angels, had a snowball fight, took the dog out for long walks and somehow managed to get to the pub for a cozy festive lunch with all the other school free kids in our village. It was a week of pure magic. It only took one 50 degree day and a rainstorm to wash it all away. But just the morning I noticed the blossoms are out again.
I don't usually have the outside lights on at dawn, but I wanted Zach to see the snow when he woke up in the dark.
Gingy always does a crazy dance when the first snow falls - she scoots around in circles with her tail tucked between her legs. I tried to photograph it but it just came out as a big blur, so here she is once she'd calmed down.
The snow was perfect for angels, but sadly too dry for a snowman.
Petra, coming into the barn to dry off.
The drive to our neighbors' house where we picked up friends on the way to the pub. The car was ice skating all over the road. In fact when leaving the farm I couldn't even see the drive so I just drove straight across the snow covered fields.
The Saturday hunt was on foot, and children were invited to bring toboggans. It was an excellent workout for the parents.
My hunting-on-foot-in-deep-snow look.
Sledding wasn't just for kids.
Our girl Ketchup, knee deep in the snowy mud.
I make our whole family go on a big walk every Sunday to earn our right to pig out at lunch and then watch a movie in the afternoon.
Gingy having a romp in the snow.
Winter is by far Zach's favorite season. He loves the snow so much. On his day off from school he spent 5 hours outside in the freezing cold just eating snow, following Ginger around and throwing snowballs at the house.
Jack Bauer taking in the winter action.
Petra stretching her legs. When it's really cold "the girls" (our 2 chestnut mares) stay in the barn most of the day, only venturing outside briefly to have a look around.
Eartha's very first day in the snow. When she stepped outside the door she paused, and then carried on with her morning bird stalking.
I photograph the garden shed nearly every day, but this has a good chance of ending up as my favorite.
I hope the honeysuckle survives under there.
Dizzy's first steps into the snow.