|Cows in the corner of the field when it was snowing on Monday morning|
After a very mild December and January winter hit the Orne hard on Monday morning. We woke to find a thick layer of pristine snow and snow still falling from the sky. The sky was thick with heavy grey snow clouds which continued to drop the white stuff all through the day. Sleet and snow had been forecast but more snow fell than the Méteo had predicted.
On the main evening news our region was highlighted and there was a report from our nearby town of Domfront. They interviewed a local farmer and some builders who are working on a new house along the road from Céauce to Domfront. If you click on the link and start at chapter 4 you will see the report.
|Cold crisp day in the countryside|
Since then we haven't had any more snow but it has been very cold, in fact it has got colder as each day has gone by. This yesterday morning the thermometer registered -9c - it was very cold. There was even a layer of ice on the inside of the window and the cat flap had frozen closed. Luckily we have managed to keep the house warm by burning lots of wood in our wood burning stove.
|Plenty to eat in the trough|
The clear crisp air enhances the beauty of the countryside and the freezing temperatures have frozen the mud so that everything is nice and clean underfoot. Yesterday we enjoyed a walk in the woods around the town of Bagnoles de l'Orne, a local spa town. There was still a thin layer of snow on the fallen leaves and it made a lovely crunching noise as we walked over it.
We thought we might stop for lunch, but not easy on a cold February day, many restaurants are closed for the winter, others were closed because it was their weekly closing day and some which should have been open - well according to the opening times advertised outside were also closed. We rejected the pancake house in favour of the one restaurant that was open. Sitting by the window with a view over the lake to the casino we enjoyed a simple steak lunch, before a final stroll around the lake before heading home to the warmth of our house.
|Same cows later in the week enjoying the sunshine|
This morning it was even colder - 10c. Despite the cold there were several stall holders on the market. I didn't ask but I assume that our yogurt man had not bothered to link up his refrigerated trailer to a power source, I don't think it would have had much effect.
|View across the fields|
|The veg garden with a layer of snow, sprouts and leeks still to be harvested.|