The trouble with snowy weather is that it's rarely snowy and bright with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. Which means that attempts to photograph it in an interesting way are generally doomed to failure. Dull, overcast skies mean dull pictures. So I didn't at first find it worthwhile trying to shoot any 'snow' pictures, apart from the usual 'record' shots to show how deep the white stuff was in my back garden.
A couple of days ago, however, I fired up Fiona and headed north to Wakehurst Place, an outpost of Kew Gardens in Sussex, jointly owned with the National Trust, which meant that I could get in free (flashing my life member card). The roads to Wakehurst were all right, meaning that Fiona herself had no problems, but they were not in a state to drive on if it turned really cold later on. For most of the way, Fiona told me that the outside temperature was -3 degrees C, and around Haywards Heath it was -4 C. Surely, I thought, that means lethally slippery roads, and am I really wise being out in this? But the sun was out, sort of, and I'm a great believer in the maxim that 'who dares wins': in other words an effort made is often well rewarded.
And so it was. The sun may have been but a white disc against smoky cloud, and clear blue sky was notably absent, but it threw enough brightness (and shadow) to make things passibly photogenic. And the snow itself was satisfyingly deep. And pristine, not trodden to death - I turned up at midday, but was the very first visitor of the day. So my feet could be the first to sully the purity of the surface. They told me I could go a few hundred yards, and approach the lake and mansion, but most of the grounds had been roped off for safety reasons. This turned out to be good enough for my purposes. Here's some shots:
Having secured these, and feeling somewhat chilled, I had some hot spicy pumpkin soup in the cafe - very hearty - then drove home again.
Would you believe it, the very next day the temperature went up by a few degrees, it rained hard, and by midday all the snow had vanished as if magicked away. So I was lucky to get these shots!