I was wrong about the snow…

They kept changing their minds about whether or not we would get snow here in Cemaes Bay. They gradually downgraded us from “lots” to “maybe a little”, so when I woke up on Friday morning to see white stuff drifting down, I never imagined it was going to stay around. It was obviously melting as soon as it hit the ground, and I said as much to various people who rang or emailed to ask how much snow we had. At around half past one, sitting down to lunch, I was forced to acknowldege that we had a light frosting.

But you could still see the grass showing through, the clear shapes of all the plants. I still didn’t expect it to stick around. But it really is quite amazing how that gentle, steady drifting downwards of a sparse speckling of snow can transfrom a landscape in a brief period of time. Two hours later, the front garden looked like this:

So I was wrong. It was sticking around. And it was still snowing. Since we fully expected it to have all gone again by the next day, we decided to amble down to the beach and have a look, never having seen snow on a beach before.

It was strange, seeing the sand buried under a blanket of white. Ethereal, with the sound of the waves slightly muffled, disturbed only by the sound of some kids sledging down a slope on the other side of the bay. Not sure how often this would happen – the snow, not the sledging – we decided to walk on to the harbour.

I was sad to see the flags flying at half mast – they only do that when someone in the three parishes surrounding Cemaes dies, the flags only returning to the top when the funeral is over. I hope whoever it was had had a good life, and didn’t die cold or alone.

We were the first people to walk through the snow on the harbour wall, and something tells me the lobster boats won’t be going out any time soon.

It was all so quiet, cold, magically transformed.

Much later that night, after sitting in front of a roaring fire and feeling grateful that we hadn’t had to go anywhere, when locking up the conservatory, I noticed that the snow had settled on the garden furniture so deeply that it looked like cushions. There wasn’t enough light to capture it on camera, and I fully expected to find that it had all disappeared over night, but I was wrong. Again.

I woke to almost-sun, no falling snow, but still a thick covering of the white stuff. Looking out of the bedroom window, I couldn’t help but think that somehow the cliffs on the opposite side of the bay looked taller, more rugged, when covered in snow. And sure enough, the garden furniture was still covered in chilly cushions of the stuff.

More snow had obviously fallen in the night, as the table showed we now had a full six inches – 15.5cm. I wonder if the rocket and Mibuna will still be edible, as and when they emerge from their cacoon. Out the front, the thick layer of snow disguises all the contours, completely hiding some plants, and in the middle of it all, the witch hazel still shines out.

It’s snowing again now, if very lightly, although the snow on the shed roof is visibly melting and slipping down the incline to pile up on the path beneath. I’m glad I was wrong, that we did get snow, and that it stayed around to make everything magical, but I am even more grateful that I wasn’t one of those stuck in a car for hours awaiting rescue, or waiting, anxiously, for a loved one to arrive safe and sound at home.

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62 Comments


    1. That’s exactly what I had asumed Sue, that the snow wouldn’t lie on the sand, and in fairness it only lingered above the current high tide line, but still, it was an unexpected sight!


  1. I’m glad you had snow. I wish we had proper snow. Snow cushions always come as a surprise and seem to be a miracle. Some wonderful photos here.
    Esther Montgomery recently posted WHAT I LOOK LIKE


    1. Hi Esther, I am guessing you don’t often get “proper” snow down where you are. I’d offer to send you some of mine, but I don’t think it would travel as well as baycorns! It was very tempting to sit on the snow cushion, but I chickened out due to a lack of waterproof trousers at the time. And not wanting to mess it up.


  2. You’ve captured you little bit of winter wonderland well – personally, I love the snow and so long as it stays reasonable sunny along with it makes it all the better. Your pictures are lovely.
    Last night was the first of our snow – only an inch or two so it didn’t take long to clear the paths, thank goodness (she sighs)!
    There’s something rather pleasing about being the first to walk in fresh snow isn’t there?
    Angie recently posted Heuchera……It’s a love hate thing!


    1. Hi Angie, I have to admit that we haven’t cleared our paths at all, rather relying on the warmer temps predicted tomorrow to do the work for us before the postman has to brave the driveway. And I love the snow, brings out my inner child!


  3. You certainly went from a light dusting to a full out snowfall. Lovely photos. I especially like the one of the lobster traps, well done!!!
    Janet, The Queen of recently posted CoCoRaHS Follow Up


    1. Hi Janet, glad you enjoyed the shots, I took more of the lobster pots but didn’t want to bore everyone! They are wonderfully satisfying to photograph, with their regularity and the sheer incongruity of lobster pots covered in snow…


  4. I just love when the sun comes out after a snowfall, everything looks so darn crisp. By the way, your greens should likely still be edible. Pick them during the warmth of the day when they’re rejuvenated a bit, otherwise they may be mushy.
    Marguerite recently posted Pheline Photos


    1. Hi Marguerite, I figured the rocket would probably be OK, but I will have to wait until the snow has gone before I give it a whirl.


  5. Hi Janet,

    I’m not sure whether to say I’m pleased you got the snow or not……….. haha. It is lovely, as long as there’s no need to leave the house.
    Certainly have a good covering there, and I hope it melts soon because it sure does get boring quickly. We’ve had far more than our promised 5cm here, however it is melting on the roads well, so there’s actually only around 2cm on our road and all main routes are clear so transport is fine.

    I bet you didn’t do any paddling in the sea! :D

    Lovely to see you had sun though; we’ve had blanket grey for three days now and near constant snow. I’m just glad it isn’t much deeper than it is, but would love some sun right about now to get some nice sunny/snowy shots.
    Liz recently posted Friday Flowers


    1. Hi Liz, you are right, it does get boring, though today, with bright sunshine, I don’t mind the part-snow part-wet-was-just-covered-in-snow look so much. As to paddling, actually, yes, I have! Admittedly Iwas wearing two pairs of socks plus wellies at the time, but these things just have to be done…


  6. How wondrous to have so much snow by the sea Janet – it must have been a sight to behold. This part of north Cheshire almost on the banks of the Mersey has copped a fair amount too, although not the most I’ve ever seen here. Sad to read about the flags flying at half mast but what a touching mark of respect for the departed. Hope that you are keeping warm and cosy – maybe an apt time for you to indulge in some bread making :)


    1. Hi Anna, “wondrouse” indeed, I keep getting new jolts of wonder, living here. I hope it doesn’t get old. I do like the flag tribute, it seems a fitting way for a community to recognise a passing of a soul. And I was eating fresh-baked bread just a couple of hours ago! Though I’d rather be outside sorting out the wretched fence…


  7. Wow Janet, that looks beautiful. And the book looks ethereal indeed, so atmospheric and tranquil in the cold and snowy weather. Light dusting for a long time soon piles up to a thick amount. It seems we had the same amount of snow as you did.
    Mark and Gaz recently posted The Snow has Arrived


    1. Hi guys, not so beautiful now that it has started melting, though even now there are large lumps of frozen snow on the beach. Amazing.


  8. Ah, beautiful. I can see why people fall in love with Wales. My parents enjoyed it when they visited–my Dad especially, because he is part Welsh. Your photos remind me of the movie “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” based on the Dylan Thomas essay. Very calming and magical.
    PlantPostings recently posted Caught between ice, snow, a rock, and a hard place


    1. It is, very beautiful – I grew up coming on holiday to Wales, so it feels very familiar, living here. I don’t know the movie, but the part of South Wales where Dylan lived is stunning, we were nearly going to live somewhere round there, but I am glad we ended up where we did, Island life has its own magic.


  9. Ah I’m jealous – you’ve had far more of the stuff than here in Sussex. And what a beautiful, understated way in which to mourn parishioners. Dave
    David Marsden recently posted Goldcrest


    1. Sorry Dave! But there again, I haven’t seen any Goldcrests…


    1. Hi VP, yes, snow on a beach, very weird. Rather like Sanbanks in fact, with all those posh houses and that vast harbour.


  10. Snow does present great photo opportunities doesn’t it – love the harbour shots – made me want to get my watercolours out and paint it.
    elaine recently posted A Black and White World …


    1. Hi Elaine, I have been really enjoying seeing everybody’s snowy photos, but I’d love to see a watercolour of the harbour looking like that.


  11. You certainly had a lovely covering of snow, making your garden look quite beautiful, not that it isn’t anyway, mind you! The beach and the bay look stunning but very cold. I remember in the 80’s, before we moved down here, the sea froze at Southport where we were living at the time, and then of course there was the big freeze of ’63! Hope our cold spell doesn’t last that long!!
    paulinemulligan recently posted Where have all the flowers gone?


    1. Hi Pauline, the beauty of the snow is that it covers up all the ugly bits of a garden and makes them magical – sadly it has now all melted in the back garden, revealing the enormous pile of shredding we didn’t get finished in the Autumn…


  12. Wow! That is a lot of snow! And it does look a bit surreal by the beach. The one thing about snow that you reflected upon, is how quiet it makes everything. It’s different from other weather that way.
    Holleygarden recently posted Garden Book Reviews January 2013


    1. It is, isn’t it, that hush you get from snowfall is really quite unique. Always reminds me of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”…


    1. I really enjoyed your snowy photos Helen. Perhaps the community spirit has remained, at least to some extent, here because it is really quite isolated. Mind you, the racism – Welsh towards English, English towards Welsh, not to mention the “we are so glad to have moved here, where there are no black people. Not that we have anything against black people…” comments sometimes make me yearn for a more cosmopolitan area!


  13. It was fascinating to read about the progress of your snow and see some of your delightful photographs – I liked the fishing boat standing out against the monochrome background, just as your witch hazel stands out at the centre of your garden, defying the elements.
    Cathy recently posted Reflections on a Snowy Day


    1. Hi Cathy, I’d missed the fact that both are yellow! But you are right, most other colours seem more readily muted by the snow.


  14. Janet I have never seen snow on the beach either…it is strangely beautiful. I did not realize there were lobster boats there…I adore lobster. As for your snow it is so gorgeous…the perfect snow all fluffy. We are used to it but it still is beautiful every time it snows here as it is now. Thanks for sharing even more beauty from your lovely bay.
    Donna@GardensEyeView recently posted Grow Your Blog


    1. HI Donna, we keep hoping that we will be around when one of the lobster boats comes in as we are hoping they might sell off the boat. I suspect they all have their lobsters spoken for, either by friends and family or by shops.


  15. I absolutely love the bleach out, monochrome like peering into an ancient silent movie and then ever so slowly you have the colour leaching back in. Lobster pots a particulary alluring image.


    1. Hi Catherine, thanks for commenting – I love the lobster pots at the best of times, but covered in snow they seemed rather surreal, for some reason. Glad you enjoyed the photos!


  16. You perfectly captured the mood of snow at the beach, Janet. Lovely, especially as I’m sweltering here today.


  17. Hi Lyn, that’s the wonderful thing about blogging, you just know that while you are staring at a winter scene others are sweltering, and while one person is posting about autumn colour another will be getting excited about spring bulbs.


  18. I don’t think I have ever seen snow on the beach either! Lovely image of the lobster pots. We have had a similar experience over here on the Clwydian hills. Snow falling very softly which has somehow yet managed to produce a depth of about six inches or so. It looks fabulous but I am beginning to get a bit of cabin fever. I intend to brave the roads tomorrow and go and meet a friend in Ruthin Craft Centre.


    1. Hi Elizabeth, hope the craft fair was good – and the travelling not too scary! All that lovely soft snow has gone, leaving the occasional gurt lump of frozen stuff sitting incogruously in the middle of e.g. grass. Am determined to do something outside today, cabin fever has been getting to me too.


  19. All very wintry, and it looks so very different like this doesn’t it. I always enjoy such monochrome photos as they often seem to give a rather timeless look.
    However whilst it is pretty to look at it can be unwelcome, as in my case where when it melts the snow will add to the problem of already waterlogged ground. xx
    Flighty recently posted A wintry plot


    1. Hi Flighty, yes, the waterlogged ground the snow leaves behind is very unwelcome, particularly after all the wet weather we had beforehand. It is getting hard to find jobs outside that don’t wreck the soil – or grass.


  20. Great photos, love the ones of snow on the beach, always looks a bit odd! We had some snow in Huddersfield on friday but had loads last night so woke up to a winter wonderland this morning.
    annie recently posted A blanket of snow


    1. Hi Annie, thanks, but yes, very odd… Hope your winter wonderland isn’t proving too inconvenient.


  21. I was intrigued to see the snow on the beach. My daughter went rock-pooling in the snow when she was on a school trip and I thought then how much I would love to visit a beach in the snow.

    We have those big, sumptuous snow cushions on our garden furniture too, although I really wouldn’t like to sit on one.

    These are beautiful photos – very evocative.


    1. Rockpooling in the snow sounds rather wonderful, if a tad chilly. I agree about sitting on the snow cushions, but it is tempting…


  22. After they promised us lots of snow on the previous Monday that never materialised we were a bit dubious about the predictions for Friday especially when it was raining when we went to bed but they had got it right.

    It does look beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen snow on the coast and certainly never on a beach. I agree it’s nice when you don’t have to go anywhere and can snuggle up inside safe and warm.
    wellywoman recently posted The ones that got away


    1. Hi Welly Woman, glad you eventually got some snow as forecast, though it doesn’t stay looking beautiful for long, does it!


  23. Your snow was lovely, I like the way it piled on the garden furniture, you can see you actually had a LOT of snow, lucky it disappeared so quickly. It must have been very cold for the snow to stay on the sand of the beach! Christina
    Christina recently posted Personalize Your Site with Custom Fonts


    1. Hi Christina, I was amazed to see the snow lying on the beach, I assumed it would be too warm/wet/salty for it to lie. Very strange, and days later there were still large lumps of the frozen stuff littered around like white boulders. I’m glad it’s gone now though, as it means I can get on with things in the garden.


  24. Hello, I’ve just come across your lovely photographs of the snow. I often visit and explore your area (visiting close friends) and I thought I’d come to know it quite well. But not at all – I’ve never seen it in deep snow like this and I’ve never seen snow on the beach!


    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Anglesey is beautiful, isn’t it. I was really surprised to see so much snow here, as it is generally pretty mild. Mind you, when we lived over on the other side of the Island, near Rhoscolyn, we got a few days of snow (about 3″), and that area is in the path of the gulf stream and is generally drier and warmer than elsewhere on the Island!


  25. We had the same tiny wimpy flakes – but they fell all through the day and suddenly we had six inches of it transforming the landscape. Still a magical occurrence to me and reminds me of childhood.
    I must say that the sight of snow on a sandy beach is ever so slightly disturbing – like an alternate reality which is familiar but flawed in some way :-)
    easygardener recently posted Wordless Wednesday – Ice and Flowers


    1. I like that, slightly flawed alternate reality. And we all need a little dose of magic now and again!


  26. Amazing snow, I love the snowline melting into the silvery sea, I always find snow on beaches such a wonderful and strange sight. We still have snow coming down now, after freshening our landscape overnight, but it’s not quite as sumptuous as yours was.
    hillwards recently posted Comfort


    1. Hi Sara, I am new to the whole “snow on the beach” phenomenon, and found it more than a little strange, but I hope it becomes a regular (maybe annual?) occurence, because it is quite magical in its strangeness. I have to admit I am glad not to have any more snow forecast as I am trying to clear the space for planting bare rooted fruit trees!


  27. Hi Janet, I’m just catching up as I’m having an indoors day while I brew up a heavy cold! Lovely evocative photos although I’ve had enough of the white stuff now and want to get on with the garden. I’ve got the best of both worlds – clear roads where I live and snow on the ground at college. I was amazed to see that the M6 was closed due to heavy snow last night, just shows how much warmer it is here in London. Hopefully we can soon get on with our 2013 gardens!
    Caro (UrbanVegPatch) recently posted Brightening up a winter’s day


    1. Hi Caro, it does sound as if you have the perfect balance snow-wise, though like you I am glad it has all gone again now. Just wish the ground was drier, it makes so many outside jobs a little tricky! Here’s hoping for a gardener-friendly 2013, just enough rain, perferably at night, and plenty of sun!


  28. I love how snow subtracts most color from the landscape, save for a few bright spots, like your flag and those boats. I also like what it does to sound, deadening some and advancing others.


    1. Hi Les, yes, that muffling adds to the other-worldly feeling doesn’t it, and I too love the way an occasioanl burst of colour breaks the monochrome view.


  29. Well, I believe that qualifies as more than a “light dusting!” It makes for a lovely landscape–snow and sea is such a rare part of anything I’ve experienced. And the snowy cushions make me want to put on my woolies and take a warm coffee out into the winter morning.
    James recently posted january anza-borrego desert garden


    1. Hi James, the snowy cushions were a severe temptation. And yes, definitely more than a “light dusting”. Glad that seems to be it though – now I just want some dry sunny days to repair the fence the storms destroyed! I think I will have to make do with the occasional virtual visit to the desert though, the forecast is foul.

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