My snow boots made a rare appearance on Wednesday, the day I nearly got stranded at the university after it shut down at noon during a tutorial. Snow started to fall the night before so I decided to get to university early when the snow had stopped, before the buses stop services. Blizzard conditions started at around 10, and snow fell steadily throughout the day. Buses and taxis were not operating so my housemate and I had to walk (very carefully) down to Penryn train station to catch the train back to Falmouth. We spent the rest of the afternoon building a snowman (my first ever snowman!).
I never thought I would experience snowfall in Cornwall, let alone a Cornish blizzard. Snow just made everything so magical, and it definitely brought back memories from the Cairngorms field trip last year. Seeing the snow had stopped and the wind has died down (very slightly) on Thursday morning, I took the opportunity to send my drone up to capture Falmouth at a bird’s-eye view. It was a truly unusual sight to see Falmouth covered in a blanket of white snow, apparently Cornwall had the heaviest snowfall in around 40 years, thanks to the Beast from the East.
It was quite hard to take photos for this panorama above as the drone kept drifting in the wind. There were moments that I punched full throttle on my drone but it just didn’t budge or even drifted further away. I wouldn’t have had the guts to put my drone in the air if I hadn’t flown my drone in rough conditions over the sea for my final year project.
In the afternoon the snow had started again before I went for a walk around Falmouth with Jaime. We headed to Swanpool and then walked along the beaches. I was hoping to get some photos of wildlife in the snow, but unfortunately I only had my old 18-250mm crop sensor zoom lens and some short focal length prime lenses on hand so I kind of had to make do with what I had. To make things more challenging the auto-focus on the zoom lens stopped working because it was too cold. At first it was alright to handle the camera with my fingerless gloves, but as the day progressed, it got so cold that I couldn’t feel my fingers unless I put ski gloves on (tempertaure felt like -11C).
The weather conditions were tough for the wildlife. Many birds fluffed up their feathers to trap heat, and they were coming closer than usual, perhaps looking if some people would put down some food. The coot pictured above was among the many other coots and mallards eating the food put down by someone at Swanpool.
It was such an unusual sight to see Swanpool covered in snow, especially in March when everything should be waking up and coming out for spring. The waves reached the top of Swanpool beach, sometimes splashing up onto the road. High tide accompanied by swells from the incoming Storm Emma left a lot of beaches and coastal areas destroyed.
Herring gulls and black-headed gulls circled in the air and scanned the white waters for food, as the waves churned up all sorts of fish, crabs and marine life, and left pile after pile of seaweed and kelp lying on the beach.
Among the wagtails and pipits on Swanpool Beach were 2 dunlins rushing around along the beach front looking for food, narrowly dodging the strong waves.
Many people came out to experience the rare snow in Falmouth. This dog looked pretty excited to be in the snow.
I have so much respect for the wildlife (like this gull above braving the Cornish blizzard) – I couldn’t get out of the house without at least 3 layers on…
Europe was in fact colder than the Arctic Tundra. This is yet another consequence of climate change, some scientists believe this will result in ‘warm Arctic, cold continents’ as the polar vortex becomes less stable, a prelude to more extreme weather.
A bit disappointed when I woke up on Friday morning to find that nearly all the snow has been washed off by the rain as Storm Emma passes through Cornwall, but it was time to get back to editing my final year project film after 2 days of absolute joy! Hope everyone has enjoyed the snow 😉
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