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World Owl Trust - leading the World in Owl Conservation

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Saturday 20th December, 2014

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Wulf’s Blog


Friday 27th March 2013

It’s been an ‘interesting’ week. This blog is not so much about being at work, more about attempting to get to work. As I mentioned in my last blog, I have been taking some outstanding holiday entitlement off, before the start of the next financial year. I was due back in on Friday the 22nd of March, or so I thought!

It was snowing. I don’t think it had been snowing long; it was more of a dusting. The main road was still clear. I thought it was going to be the usual ‘storm in a tea cup’ it usually is in this part of the world. I set of at 7.30am, and drove north on the A595. Driving out of Bootle, you are sheltered by trees, and for about half a mile seems to be in a slight depression, somewhat tempering the effects of the weather. As I rose out of the depression and lost the trees and hedge, Wham! It all hit me with full force. All of a sudden, the road was covered in snow; the wind was blowing at hurricane strength and the snow was coming in horizontally from the east. I drove on, thinking at the time, that surely it would improve a little further on. The white road and the snow and spindrift were causing white out conditions. You couldn’t see the horizon in front of you. There were no reference points to indicate whether you were even going in a straight line, never mind seeing cars coming in the opposite direction! I got as far as the crossroads for Hycemoor and Corney Fell, and decided it might be prudent to turn back. The snow was getting deeper by now, and it had taken me 10 minutes to even get this far. I got stuck in a line of traffic brought to a halt by the snow. There was no way I was going to be driving back to Bootle. Cars were just abandoned in the middle of the road. I pulled into the verge, and decided to walk back to Bootle. Luckily I had brought a raincoat, which helped against the unrelenting east wind which came straight from the Siberian tundra! Two other people had the same idea, and not being local, they didn’t know how far it was to Bootle. We kept together for safety. It was almost impossible to walk in that venomous gale. I said it reminded me of conditions on the fell tops. Somebody later on described it as akin to being on the Cairngorm plateau, which in my opinion was no exaggeration. Big sheets of metal were being torn from the roof of one particular lorry by the ferocious wind. It seemed to take a lifetime to walk the half mile back to the shelter of the hedge and trees. I was basically snowed in for 3 days, two of which were spent without any electricity. I eventually managed to dig my car out of the snow on the following Sunday, but not before it was featured on the national news! It was the only red car along that stretch.

As I write these lines, the snow is falling again. Whilst normally this can look quite pretty, this time it seems to convey a sense of silent menace.

Life does go on, snow or not, on my first day back, the owls in the collection were never going to be put out of their stride by this silly soft white stuff, and there is a list of breeding birds as long as my arm. Lastly, we have to thank David and Vicky for standing in on Friday and Saturday. I’ll leave you with a picture of the snow as it was being cleared from the A595.

See you next week


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View of the snow on the A595.
View of the snow on the A595. Picture courtesy Wulf Ingham
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