Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snowed In

The United Kingdom has come to a halt! The snow has caused chaos on roads, railways and the second largest airport in the country, Gatwick, has suspended all flights. Schools have closed and the entire population has been advised not to make unnecessary journeys. The government has called for an enquiry in to why the country ceases to function when it snows. I'm certain they've held similar inquiries in the past, winters aren't a recent phenomenon.

Winter Roses. Photograph by Tim Irving
Winter Roses - Tim Irving
I've been out and about and I've done a couple of longish walks, but it's too cold to take photographs. It's too cold to take my hands out of my pockets.

I was looking out of the kitchen window this morning, pondering the jobs that should have been done in the garden, and believe me, there's plenty of work out there. Plants that should have been moved to a sheltered spot before the snow, bulbs that should have been planted weeks ago, the list is a long one. In my un-tidy garden, the roses should have been pruned in late summer, but they weren't. The flowers died months ago, and the stems are woody.

The dead roses are my subjects until the thaw. Taking the photographs has turned into a ritual. I wrap up in several layers, go into the garden and have a good look at them, then I take a photograph and come back inside. I'm doing this 3 or 4 times a day as light and snow change the scene. They do look dead, but because I'm studying them very closely, I can see a beauty in them and I can't wait to get out there with them. I'm very pleased with myself that I didn't prune them.


  1. A nice splash of vibrant yellow on a dull winters day, wonderful.

  2. Loving the groove you're in right now, consistently bringing us these thoughtful images of life on the cusp. More than fall, less than winter. My eyes fall into these photos, fall into the backgrounds as they read like water, like ice, and even like a chilly galaxy. I think they're really in tune with the internal places a person surrenders to at this time of year.

    Here's a quote to go with your cold weather, your snow, and your layers of clothes:
    "It's almost too cold to hold a pen this morning. I've lost a toe since breakfast, my nose is on its last nostril. I've four sweaters on (including yours), two pairs of trousers & socks, a leather coat & a dressing gown. Who was the French poet who had alphabetically lettered underpants, & wore every one up to H on a cold morning?"
    -Dylan Thomas, Letters to Vernon Watkins



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