Sunday walk

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Heavy snowfall always transforms the forest into something magical, so I venture out into the cold to take some snaps. The sky is clear and it is close to freezing but the sunshine will soon warm things up.

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Tracks in the snow are always interesting. Below left: are paw prints and with no signs of human foot prints it could be a fox or even the dreaded wolf. On the right are either deer or wild boar prints, probably deer as boar tend to roam in groups.

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Below the tree walk is deserted, a sign of the times. Normally on a Sunday like this there would be hoards of people visiting, but times have changed for the moment.

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Breakfast

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Yesterday the first snow of the year arrived as temperatures plummeted to zero. Today however it’s warm again with temperatures expected in double figures. Meanwhile the forecast for the coming days is a high of 17C degrees then next week a drop to -8C. 17C in January! A real roller coaster ride and quite unusual as temperature usually hover around zero this time of year. Meanwhile the sheep tuck into their welcomed breakfast.

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Cold feet

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Despite blue skies and sunshine all day the snow showed little sign of melting. Even 300 meters below in the valley there was still plenty but the ducks beside the pond seemed unconcerned and most were happy to take a siesta, as was this one before I rudely interrupted it for a photo.

Snow galore

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Well, the serious snow finally arrived and yesterday I ventured down the zigzag path into town through virgin snow and snow clad pines …

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… passing intricate sculptures in snow …

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… and delicate lacework created by snow covered branches …

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… but this was just the beginning, plenty more snow arrived after these photos were taken and with temperatures well below freezing it looks like staying a while.

Minus nine

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Despite the glorious sunshine it was -9C this morning and overnight I think it was down to -12C, so the freeze continues and more snow is forecast. The powder snow beneath my feet today was like fine frosted cornflakes and the air was glittering with ice crystals like someone had sprinkled fairy dust from above.

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Tracking

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The snow finally arrives, but it’s not a lot. Nevertheless, yesterday I headed out into the virgin snow covered forest. The only tracks to be seen were wild animals and possibly the occasional house cat. There was no shortage of tracks and although I am no expert, I can differentiate between a hare/rabbit, deer/wildboar and cat/fox-like paw prints, all of which were to be seen. Today the blue sky tempted me out again and I followed a particularly interesting set of tracks. One was a deer track and the other following it were paw prints. I followed the tracks for about half a kilometer until they ended in some sort of fracas. A wildcat or wolf are about the only animals that I could image would stalk a deer. I would have photographed it but the snow was in such a mess it would have been hard to deduce much from it. The deer appeared to have escaped in an erratic way, jumping over bushes and tree stumps, deviating from its original route. I followed it for a while after the ‘scuffle’ and the paw prints no longer followed having veered off in another direction. Anyway, you may not see any animals in winter but the snow tracks can often tell you a much more interesting story about forest life.

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