Snow is not a regular visitor to North West Kent. When it does grace us with its presence, it rarely settles. Instead, it passes through, teasing us; just rain caught on the breeze briefly colliding with a cold weather front that converts water into sleet and maybe a few tantalising flakes. If snow deigns to loiter and rest at all, it only does so for, at most, a week before melting away as mushy black slush.
Still, a week of snow is a week of snow. Not to be scoffed at when all we’d otherwise have to look at is another week of bare winter trees and a limited colour palette of greens, browns and greys.
To be fair, occasional sunny blue skies and red and yellow woodland berries provide rays of brightness and lift our mood. But otherwise NWK winters are visually bland. So, when snow arrives, transforming our local landscape into a white winter wonderland, it’s like the heavens have physically and metaphorically blessed us with a whitewash elixir for our eyes and minds. We moan, of course, that the snow causes chaos for local traffic, public transport and community services but we don’t really care. Our inner child-like spirits soar. And certainly, for me, as I stand looking up at the mesmerising falling flakes of beauty, it feels like a restorative tonic of frozen white nectar has come to revitalise my soul.
Maybe as an outdoor photographer I’m more sensitive than most to these gifts of nature. While NWK is fortunate in many ways to have a varied local landscape (as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs), anything that transforms the surroundings in a fresh, positive way is welcome. Add to this the temporary nature of snowfall hereabouts and I’m prompted to react fast. Get out there quickly and find, in essence, historic images and stories about how snow impacts the area. And in these unprecedented times, living through lockdown 3 of the C-19 pandemic here in England, my sensitivity is further magnified.
Thus it was - the snow combined with our C-19 circumstances, that led me to show photographs in a different way on my social-media channels. Instead of uploading just individual photographs, I decided to post multi-image photo-series stories, sharing what I captured on my snowy lockdown daily permitted exercise walks.
The photographs shown here are from my first series, when the snow was just arriving and settling. Here, I tried to capture the excitement of the time, the snow blowing in sideways; families out enjoying the conditions; and the result? A hastily built snowman. A great fun time, despite our horrid pandemic situation. (My second and third story-sets can be seen through the social media links on my website.)
Sadly, the snow has now melted away and we’re back to our regular colour scheme with accompanying changeable weather. As expected, it only stayed for just under a week. But for me and all children at heart, it was the most welcome of short snowy interludes. One which uplifted our outlooks in more ways than one and got me to try something new. Let's hope for the next downfall much sooner than is anticipated.