A winter walk: footprints, snowy sheep – and just one robin.

A field near North Stainley.

I think I like this kind of wintry day best of all. We’ve had a carpet of snow on the ground, blanking out grass, pavements and drifts of snowdrops. But today, it’s just a little warmer, and the snow is softly melting into the ground. But still here. We go out for a walk, before the cold descends once more. Winter footprints are visible now, because the impacted snow has dissolved away, leaving a silhouette of – what? Is that a crow print? A pheasant? Oh look, those are rabbits – look at how they land, four square and neatly as they run. And here’s a dog of course.

The landscape assembles itself into broad strata of austere colours: raw umber earth; no-longer pristine snow, almost dappled in places; perhaps some olive-shaded grass, and behind all these, a line of winter trees, their skeletons highlighted against the grey sombre skyline.

We see this robin on a fence post.

But apart from him, sheep are the only living creatures we spot on our walk today. Against the snow, they aren’t white at all, but a slightly dirty cream. They scratch an unsatisfactory meal from the less snowy parts of the fields. They come to look at us. We look at them.

Then we look for snowdrops instead, and for wood. It’s forbidden to go out at this time of year without coming back with an armful of kindling for the log burner.

And how glad we are to get back to our log burner! We enjoyed seeing our familiar landscape clothed in its skimpy veil of whiteness. But we appreciated getting back to warmth, a fireside, and a nice cup of tea even more.

Here’s a contribution to Jo’s Monday Walk (Jo’s own walks tend to be in Portugal these days. That’s where she lives. Feeling chilly Jo, reading this?)

Click on any image to view it full size.

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

27 thoughts on “A winter walk: footprints, snowy sheep – and just one robin.”

  1. What a nice walk! And you notice the details so well, and describe them beautifully. I especially like all the little footprints. We have a LOT more snow and are having a bit of a warm up today so I’m hoping to get out for a walk, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I did think of you when out on our walk. I’d decided not to tell you how we’d been shivering at -5, because I knew you would think we were wimps!


  2. Hiya Margaret! Sorry I’m a bit late here. No pingback and I work through my comments slowly these days. 😦 It does get quite nippy here early mornings but I confess to forgetting (deliberately 🙂 ) the joys of a white world. And a sludge brown one! Thanks for reminding me 🙂 🙂


  3. No pingback? I wonder what went wrong? I jumped through the right hoops at my end. Ah well. Thanks for finding me. No snow now. It’s quite mild…


  4. What a brilliant post! I love all the photos and as others have said your descriptions are beautiful and evocative. Those wintery trees are fantastic and the prints in the snow tell such stories. The sheep, the robin and the snowdrops are among my favourite things! So nice to enjoy such a walk with the prospect of the fireside and a warm cuppa to get back too.

    Liked by 1 person

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