Winter in Swaledale

Looking out of the farmhouse on a February morning

When the snow drifts up against the stone walls its an indication that we have had more snow than at first glance. It is not uncommon for the fields to be almost bare of snow due to the strength of the wind. The snow is sculpted into smooth shapes with distinctive edges. Its been a long time since we had a huge amount of snow. This photo illustrates how easily it is for sheep to get ‘overblown’. Sheep shelter on the lea side of the wall and as the drifts get deeper and deeper the snow tumble over onto the sheltered side and buries the sheep. They can survive for quite a long time as the snow is never so compacted that it prevents air getting to the trapped animals. When this happens a good shepherd knows where to look and soon has his sheep dug out.