There’s No Business Like Snow Business

Just when I thought that spring was around the corner, the cold moved in and decided to make itself comfortable.  We received a beautiful covering of snow three days ago.  Our first.  This storm caused the roads through Dartmoor to be closed, cutting us off for 24 hours.  Not a single person came up the track.  The clouds were low that day and visibility almost nil, so our venturing out was somewhat limited.  The whole scene had a sepia tone to it.

That was Friday.  On Saturday and Sunday, crowds of people from surrounding lower-lying areas that had received rain rather than snow arrived to go sledding, and give us headaches with their litter, noise and shocking inability to read signs (more than a few people blocked us in as they parked directly in front of our gate with its posted “no parking” message).

We have the place to ourselves again, so set out for a hike behind our house.  Drifts of snow abut tufts of ice-covered grass and rocks, dramatic skies and the climbs up to the tors combined to make one of the most beautiful winter scenes.   This week’s blog is a photo essay of our first snow at Crockern.  We are awaiting more of the fluffy white stuff tomorrow.

Crockern Farm

First snow in the morning toward the back gate.

Snow covered footpath sign to Wistman's Woods just behind our house.

Snow covered footpath sign to Wistman’s Woods just behind our house.

Looking south towards Crockern Farm.

Looking south towards Crockern Farm.

Chickens in the snow

One of the chickens having a go at her first snow.

Littaford  and Longaford Tors, Dartmoor

Roger on the way to Littaford and Longaford Tors.

Littaford Tor, Dartmoor

Littaford Tor

Icy Grass on top of the ridge looking toward Bellever, Dartmoor

Icy Grass on top of the ridge looking toward Bellever.

Littaford Tor in the snow and ice grass.

Littaford Tor in the snow and ice grass.

Littaford Tor, Dartmoor

More Littaford Tor


Rocks, snow, what more do you need?

Dartmoor winter

Snow and clouds moving toward the vanishing point.

Sky, stone wall, snowy ground.

Sky, stone wall, snowy ground.

Roger and Sam on top of the ridge.

Roger and Sam on top of the ridge.

Longaford Tor with view (about 1.5 miles away) back to our house.

Higher White Tor with view (about 1.5 miles away) back to our house.

A silhouette of Sam, me and the top of Higher White Tor.

A silhouette of Sam, me and the top of Higher White Tor.

A lone tree just before Wistman's Woods.

A lone tree just before Wistman’s Woods.

Sheep in the snow.

Sheep in the snow.


26 comments on “There’s No Business Like Snow Business

  1. Anja Hemmerich says:

    Stunning pictures!

  2. Jenny Stewart says:

    Amazing photos Catherine – particulary love the silhouette of you and Sam on top of the tor . Snow makes its own light and atmosphere which you have captured.

  3. Bettina Koester-Smith says:

    Thank you for your beautiful photos! They will make all your friends want to come and see this winter beauty for themselves I guess. I imagine you going for good snowy walks, then sitting at your woodburner with a hot chocolate or hot toddy, then baking your own bread (self-sufficiency when snowed in?) then making sure the animals are all okay and catered for (are the foxes coming more often in this weather?), then writing + reading + planning the next activities at Crockern Farm ….
    Hope you still love your new life!?
    Love, Bettina (who hasn’t caught up yet with your other latest news – sorry)

  4. Sheila Shepheard says:

    Great pictures. Bit shocked by the first photo – didn’t realise you had an outdoor loo! Maybe the pony club will wait till there’s indoor plumbing till we come & visit. Hope you are snug as bugs in your cottage.

    • Outdoor loo? That’s a barn. Though, there is a bathtub sitting outside which we inherited. It is cast iron and too heavy to move. I may plant flowers in it if we can definitely keep the sheep out of the yard. Rest assured, we have indoor plumbing.

  5. ann dawney says:

    Just stunning….. We’ve been watching two hungry foxes quartering the garden in the snow. One suddenly snatched at a large grey cat – thank goodness, it jumped free….

    • Saw some fox foot prints in the snow, but thankfully no where near the chickens. Perhaps Sam is a bit of a deterrent? Fairly certain the chickens would not be as nimble and quick as a cat.

  6. Donna says:

    So beautiful! Those pictures made me smile this morning and a little envious for some snow. Enjoy!

  7. Dana Crowe says:

    Now I am jealous!

  8. Paul Blaney says:

    Am digging that icy grass. Lovely, evocative photos.

  9. polly says:

    The woods are lovely,dark and deep……
    Love the chicken

    • You would have loved watching that chicken take her first steps into the snow! After that, all six of them went storming about until they found a dry and dusty bit of ground in a shed and took their usual “dust bath” before heading back out to peck at things in the snow.

  10. Gwen says:


  11. June Sheehan says:

    Beautiful pics. I specially loved the contrast of the red hen against the white snow. A great opportunity for creative nature shots – Ansell Adams would approve. Much better than here in the sludge in Lewes. Was thinking it would look much better on Dartmoor when snow first fell. I walked home last Friday when it began (with a loaf from new Flint Owl Bakery) and haven’t been out since. Have promised to get to bootcamp this morning. Love from all of us. XXXX

    • Thanks June. I think you’d love it as the ground is frozen, not boggy, and your boots would stay dry. Can’t guarantee you’d stay warm, but dry is good! Go to bootcamp, go for the Foxy view walk, and think of us. We’re thinking of all of you, too! xxx

  12. niamh minogue says:

    Hay catherine this is niamh.
    All these picture are apsolutly beautiful. It must be so beautiful there.

  13. Love your photos! Some great shots here.

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