Sunday, 28 November 2010

First Snow

Coventry D50  27-11-2010 09-31-16

The snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,
The stiff rails softened to swan’s-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, “Father, who makes it snow?”
And I told of the good All-father
Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,
And thought of the leaden sky
That arched o’er our first great sorrow,
When that mound was heaped so high.

I remembered the gradual patience
That fell from that cloud like snow,
Flake by flake, healing and hiding
The scar that renewed our woe.

And again to the child I whispered,
“The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall!”

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
And she, kissing back, could not know
That my kiss was given to her sister,
Folded close under deepening snow

The First Snow-Fall by James Russell Lowell

I was kept waiting for the white stuff to be sent to Coventry. Coventry D50  27-11-2010 09-36-49 I was glued to the tv watching northern and eastern Scotland along with northeast England blanketed by snow. It was bitterly cold but still nothing. Not a single fluff :-(.

Imagine to my delight when I woke up to white, winter wonderland, Yaay…it snowed at last. I was grinning from ear to ear. I quickly donned my warmest attire and went out, armed with my camera. It was a very brisk, bright cold morning

At first we thought of checking Groby Pool D50  27-11-2010 12-35-32out Donna Nook but the weather up there wasn’t too promising.  So we went to check out what the natives have been up to at Bradgate Park. It was a very icy drive and seeing some drivers speeding on the M69 was just ridiculous.

As usual, a pit stop at Groby Pool was a must. The car-park was like an ice-rink and the pool was also frozen.Groby Pool D50  27-11-2010 12-54-02 I bought along a loaf of bread to feed the birds. Boy…weren’t they glad to see us. No exotic birds, even the hybrid ducks have gone.  There were plenty of robins fighting over scraps of bread. As we walked back, I spotted this lovely Long-tail tit flirting from tree to tree. A few Redwings were busy feeding on the berries by the car-park.

Then it was a very slippery Newtown Linford D50  27-11-2010 13-08-38drive downhill on a road covered with a blanket of ice, Holy s—t!!!  It was pretty scary. Luckily there weren’t any cars coming the other direction. Babe said that he’s going to take the other route on the way home. Don’t blame him.  

It was a very nice surprise to find not many cars about. It was either too cold to be out and aboutBradgate  Park D300s  27-11-2010 13-28-22 or people were stuck at home. The park was also very quiet. No deer greeted us at the entrance but our favourite noise-box was waiting to be fed by the river. As usual, he was sooo noisy and very demanding. It was a delight to see him about.

We continued walking and spotted several herds of deer feeding among the bracken. We walked on the road instead of the footpaths by the river. It was too icy and slippery. Bradgate Park D50  27-11-2010 13-45-45 From a distance, Lady Jane Grey’s house looked amazing nestling among the snow and bathing in the bright winter’s sun.

We walked towards a herd of young stags feeding. We just stood there watching them, watching us. As we continued walking, this handsome stag came strutting down the hill. What an amazing mammal. Once the rut is over the stags will leave the matriarchal herd and eventually regroup with other unrelated stags over the winter.

There wasn’t much else Bradgate  Park D300s  27-11-2010 14-16-09 about and we decided to call it a day. On the way back to the car-park, we came across this amazing sight. Hundred of deer were marching in front of us, heading towards the mountain. Wow…Everyone stopped to watch them thundering past. This was the first time we saw such a spectacle.

Last week, I was busy clearing my table and tying loose ends. I’ve warned my colleagues and Procurement staff that I’ll be away the whole of December and don’t want my table cluttered with stuff. Bradgate  Park D300s  27-11-2010 14-38-25 They often have the habit of putting stuff when I’m not around :-).

Babe tagged along during one of my lunch walks. We walked towards Heronbank. I was quite surprised that the reeds have been cut and dug a lot. This cheeky Pied wagtail was so busy feeding that I could get so close.

We saw a Greenwoodpecker flying in but he took off before we could get to our camera. I ate my sandwich by the bench watching the terns and ducks skating on the frozen lake. Suddenly we heard the ice cracking and wonder what it was.Warwick University D50  26-11-2010 12-56-59 We watched in amazement at this swan was paddling and therefore braking the thin ice…

Babe continued with his adventures to Brandon Marsh while I trodded back to the office. As I entered the building, it suddenly went dark. Huh…the porters said it was my fault…Actually, the electrics was overloaded because portable heaters were running at full blast. The central heating wasn’t working again.

Without the portable heaters, our office will look like this. This was the scene at Brandon Marsh when Babe went there.Brandon Marsh D300s  26-11-2010 14-20-20 It must be freezing.

I also attended an EMALINK workshop on “The next generation OPACS” at Loughborough University with my colleague, GLW. We left at about 12 pm and arrived at 1pm. We made a quick tour of the library and GLW checked the shelf to see if his thesis was still there. GLW did his post-graduate studies here.

During this 2-hour workshop we explored how the Next Generation OPACs will enhance and improve integrated access to resources. There were 25 representatives from various universities and we discussed the key criteria in selecting a system and the benefits that can be expected. I’m looking forward to to testing the Encore that we’d purchased but not install YET!!!

It was my cousin, Lyanna’s graduation on Friday. The graduation ceremony was held at the beautiful Coventry Cathedral. How grand was that!!! She had received her Engineering degree. Congratulations and well-done.

Also congratulations to WFP. He and M are expecting twins next year. How exciting was that. They’ll make wonderful parents.

It's double the giggles and double the grins, and double the trouble if you're blessed with twins. 

~Author Unknown~

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