Ani and I watched the skies all weekend. Heavy, grey, full of snow and constantly snowing. The small dog spent most of her time either chasing snowflakes in the garden, or doggedly propping the garden doors open with her not-so-small body. I alternated between turning blue and turning the air blue in an attempt to convince her that warmth is good… and closed doors encourage warmth…especially when the heating is on. Apparently, the dog is deaf. Selectively.


Yet we saw very little snow settle on the ground and stay. In fact, it was whiter last time I was in the north when an unexpected frost caught us by surprise. Not that frost in the north should be unexpected in winter, but the weather in the town had been just grey and damp. I should have thought it through a little better, but we were heading for Castleton and the chance to drive up over the tops of the moor was too good to miss. Ten minutes later and another thousand feet higher, and the narrow road was an ice rink.


But, above the fog, it was a beautiful clear day and the moor was busy. We managed to pull over for a moment with the cameras, but the lay-bys were full of cars disgorging walkers. It was bitterly cold, and within minutes our hands were blue. Even so, cold or not, I would have been tempted myself, but we had things to do. Castleton, we hoped, would provide us with somewhere to buy certain props for the April workshop. As well as a pub.


It was, though, incredibly beautiful, with the green and russet of the earth against the blue of the sky, highlighted by the ice and the pale forms of the free-roaming sheep that call the moor their home. Not only do they see the moor as theirs, they also pay little heed to motor vehicles and their presence, crossing roads, wandering the verges and laying in wait for unwary motorists, adds an element of adrenaline to any drive over the top.


Other than the beauty of the morning, though, it was a sheep that provided the highlight of the drive. Crawling along at a couple of miles an hour while the sheep wandered the road ahead and the ice made driving a hairy experience on those hills, we were able to get a good view of something neither of us had seen before.


One sheep approached a parked car and began sniffing at it. Quite what it found, we’ll never now…but as we passed it was licking away at the car as if it were an ice-cream. “There’s nowt as queer as folk,” we say in the north. Except, perhaps, a car-eating sheep.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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40 Responses to Iced

  1. jenanita01 says:

    Catch me going out in those conditions…and I don’t know what to say about that sheep!


  2. Mary Smith says:

    It probably was salt from the road, Sue – which doesn’t explain why a cat I had used to love to lick the outside of the divan bed drawer. Great photos – looks like a fantastic place to walk though preferably in warmer weather.


  3. Tikkievan says:

    “…doggedly propping the garden doors open…”
    I saw what you did there.
    I have never seen snow but think it would be a lot of fun!
    Mum has been to Castleton – she says there’s a big cave there with a rude name but she wouldn’t tell me what it is.
    If I saw that sheep I would chase it πŸ™‚


  4. fransiweinstein says:

    Maybe licking salt or ice. Definitely out of the ordinary.


  5. KL Caley says:

    Haha – great story Sue. Despite their reputation for being timid and followers, my husband (who works outdoors) says sheep are actually the most curious creatures. In fact, he took great joy watching his boss being followed then after a while chased by one at a convent near Harrogate. It had apparently been with the convent for years and was very suspicious of strangers, it had become more of a guard sheep πŸ™‚ haha KL ❀


  6. Ani would have been unceremoniously booted out in the snow had that been me! BRRRRRRR!


  7. Some beautiful photos Sue. It has been bitterly cold at the moment, but definitely worth braving the elements if it means capturing shots like the ones you have taken.
    I love that photo of that sheep too!!! πŸ™‚


  8. TanGental says:

    I’ve never trusted sheep; it’s their eyes i think; damn sinister, if you ask me


  9. Maybe there was some road salt on the car? All animals love salt.

    If you feel cheated by not having snow on the ground, perhaps you would like some of our? We have more than enough to share!


  10. noelleg44 says:

    Poor Ani, no snow for her to frolic in…has it been a mild winter? Loved the frost photos, and who would have thought of a car-licking sheep?


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