The snow fell with a purpose in Tarset on Thurs 25th November and it hasn't let up. Today is only Tuesday 30th November, a total of five days from the begin of the onslaught, in many ways it feels like 50 days.
The snow keeps falling, it is unrelenting. There are one or two beautiful interludes between ever increasing blizzards. Sheps house must be surrounded by a very good foot of snow . Shep lives mid way down the valley, when you climb further out there is a great deal more of the white stuff.
Away out bye it has reached two feet deep on the level, crotch deep in other places.
A shepherd in the coquet has reported the snow is three feet deep, up to his house windows. There will be worse reports too.
Today the wind has wiped up, drifts are appearing all over, roads are rapidly filling in, farmers and shepherds are concerned about stock getting happed up (covered with snow).
We are fortunate in that all sheep are in bye at the moment, not in nice lowland ground but held into pastures and fields for tup time. Even away out bye we had just managed to gather the hill when the onslaught commenced, the out bye shepherd knows where his sheep are, they are all in enclosures if he can find them.
Shep had to head over to the Rede over the weekend to gather hill sheep in, it is no longer possible for my car to get there but they are at least all gathered in to the place, the farmer knows where they are.
Today I headed out bye with the bike, no way a car will get out there. Sheep were fetched closer to home, out lying fields were no longer viable and so many hours have been spent cutting tracks through on foot and walking the beasts closer to home where they are slightly more accessible. Bikes will no longer travel on these high lying farms, the snow is too deep. Dogs struggle to travel too, I'm sure they sleep well at night.
Life is bearable, farmers are fortunate that they live on the job. Although having said that there are more and more of them that have attempted to expand their businesses by getting extra ground away from home. One such farmer has been on the phone tonight asking me to head out and find his sheep which are closer to me than they are to him. We are fortunate in that the plough will pass our house and we can usually head out on the quad, even on the untreated roads a quad is fairly easily dug out of deep snow.
There is huge concern tonight with the wind blowing that even tractors may not travel tomorrow for depth of snow. Who knows? Time will tell. Shep has an even greater concern, a necessity to get to town, tooth ache with the other half and passport photos needed for a visa application, the clock is ticking as we aim to depart on 31st December and leave these wintry conditions behind. The visa application desperately needs to be sent. The weather wasn't considered when the trip and flight was booked over the weekend. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!
In the meantime there will be some postings from Shep with some 'pretty pictures' to give you an idea of what is going on. This is just a brief update.
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