A First Glimpse of Snow
I have set mine eyes upon snow twice in my life. Just a week ago the second time came around. At the beginning of the day we were rather in doubt as to whether the weather would be horrid or not. The predictions spoke of rain, and we did not even know if there would be any snow left, from all the falls on the weekend when everything on Barrington Tops had got covered in a heavy shroud of snow. We set off despite all dire predictions, as we had planed... well rather spontaneously the night before.
So the very mad idea turned into a day trip. "There will be no snow, just lots of rain" appeared to be true as I drove along through a thickening storm. We stopped some time before getting to dirt roads and swapped drivers. I had quite, had enough of wet, potholed, winding roads, that were subsiding down slopes. I then took photos through the windscreen as we drove up the wet roads, towards the clouds. We would dip down for a moment and then go climbing up again, ever upwards.
As we drive further on, the clouds grow lower, obscuring the horizon on all sides. It rains, harder, softer and harder again. Spray flies up from puddles on the road. Everything is the colour of dampness, almost more vibrant than the colours of sunshine. Maybe that is because there is no glare anywhere, or maybe the rain just contains a magic of sorts, or just water in general, as the same thing happens with stones pulled from rivers. Stones shimmer with all colours, but grow dull as they dry.
I know we are surrounded by mountains, yet only their roots can be seen. We drive on. For a moment a crack appears, showing the sky hidden above the clouds. A tiny slither of blue, surrounded with white fluff, is high on our left. Then in only a few minuets we enter the cloud.
We have climbed into the low lying clouds, that rest on the mountains as if tired, or the sky being no longer able to hold them up. To either side trees loom, ghostly in the white light. Then we are out, bright sunshine bursts upon us. The sky cracks in many places, sunshine streams from blue slivers.
We stop at a mountain stream, the Hunter River in fact! We pass over it multiple times, as we wind out way up and it down.
Then we start off again. We pass through forests of ghost gums. The trees so white! On one side of us, the mountain rises higher and on the other the land slopes away to tree covered valleys and mountain ranges beyond.
Oh how magnificent are mountain views! And that day, they were perfect! The amazing clouds and blue distances. It puts me in remembrance of a stanza of a poem I really like and know from memory.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!
-My Country by Dorothea Mackellar
And another half of a different poem;
A land of sombre, silent hills, where mountain cattle go
By twisted tracks, on sidelings steep, where giant gumtrees grow
And the wind replies, in the river oaks, to the song of the stream below.
A land where the hills keep watch and ward, silent and wide awake
As those who sit by a dead campfire, and wait for the dawn to break,
Or those who watched by the Holy Cross for the dead Redeemer's sake.
A land where silence lies so deep that sound itself is dead
And a gaunt grey bird, like a homeless soul, drifts, noiseless, overhead
And the world's great story is left untold, and the message is left unsaid.
- AUSTRALIAN SCENERY by A.B. "Banjo" Paterson
Then we saw snow. We got out and the boys got to see and touch some for the first time.
And I.... well I had a mild case... of brain fever and took my shoes off.... my shoes did not make very good footprints in the snow.... and I had photos I wanted to get......
The mad things I will do for the right shot....
Snow! or as little Ann called it 'now'.
Gum leaves and snow seemed an interesting combination.
The ferns just looked pretty.
Then I did it again...... that time it must have been the cold that had got to me... frostbitten brain most likely. This time I walked through really deep snow though. I walked until I came to a clump of grass, and island in the ice.... I left my shoes behind, and decided I might just stay exactly where I was until someone else came along. I really did not want to walk through that deep, frozen stuff again... Eventually Alice brought me my shoes, rescuing me..... and seemingly thinking me quite mad at the time. I wonder why?
The boys built a tiny snow...... lump...
Then they had snowball.... Ice-ball fights. Then we went on.. but that will be in part 2 which I have not written at the time of this post being published. and I decided that I would not completely drown any one with all those photos in one post!
Have you ever seen snow?
Have you ever walked bare foot in it?