What winter is
Happy Chinese New Year!

Then came the snow

From the Inner Season series by Virginia Lee

A dusting of snow at Bumblehill on Thursday

Howard took the photo above yesterday, from the rise of the garden behind our small house. Winter has been so mild this year that we thought a light dusting of snow might be all that we'd see  -- but this morning we woke to a proper storm.  The picture below was taken an hour ago. The snow is still coming, thick and fast, and the hills have vanished into white.

Snow at Bumblehill on Friday

Beauty and the Beast by Angela Barrett

Tilly racing down our lane

Tilly loves the snow, barreling down our lane in an ecstasy of pure canine delight. She follows Howard and me to the village -- where the roads, free of cars, have been taken over by families and dogs, by sledges and skates....

Hiking down the lanes to the village

Russian Winter by Gennady Spirin

The joy of snow

Tilly and me

For the length of the storm, the world is measured by children's laughter, not the roar of machines, and neighbours stand in their doorways to gossip, watching the snow fall instead of the clock.

Kids on their way to sledge on O'er Hill

Russian Winter by Gennady Spirin

The winding road back home again

Back home again to Nattadon Hill --where my studio cabin is sheathed in ice, nestled against the white winter wood. I climb up the hillside through drifts of snow to check that all is well up there, and then carefully climb down again. There will no studio work today while the snow keeps coming, the cabin creaking and rattling in the storm.

The Bumblehill Studio in snow

I make my way slowly down to the house, drawn by the kitchen window's glow.

The rayburn stove in our kitchen hearth

I stamp my feet by the door, peel off my wet coat, put my boots by Rayburn stove to dry. Tilly is curled in her bed nearby. There's coffee brewing. The snow keeps on coming. The world through the windows is muffled in white. Time has stopped and the clocks have gone silent.

The snow-covered hills, viewed from the warmth of the house

But all too soon, they shall start up again.

The white Devon hills

The Snow Queen by Angela Barrett

The art above is by Virginia Lee, Angela Barrett, and Gennady Spirin. Each image is identified in the picture captions. (Run your cursor over the pictures to see them.) All right reserved by the artists.