This scene on Lake Padden (south of Bellingham, Washington – a place without snow) is winter to me: the naked trees, the fog, the way the neglected dock slopes into the water.
What is winter like where you live?
12 years ago, I was living east of Kansas City, Missouri and driving 20 miles through blizzards nearly everyday to get to and from work. On one particularly frightening evening, I discovered this delightful thing called freezing rain. I grew up in central Minnesota, so freezing rain was a new concept. Precipitation always just came down in the form of snow. So, when a layer of ice accumulated on my windshield that night, I was terrified. I had to roll down my window and drive with my head outside to navigate the last mile to my apartment.
Two days later, when I journeyed down I-70 again to return to work, I was shocked to discover the ice-storm carnage. Multiple semi-trucks littered the ditches, some overturned. Cars were strewn about like an angry giant-child had taken to the freeway. That day, I made the decision to get the heck out the Midwest! I had recently separated from my husband, so I saw no reason to stay in Missouri and subject myself to the weather any longer. If it wasn’t ice-storms and blizzards in the winter, it was tornadoes in the summer. No thanks!
I moved to the Seattle, Washington area. Snow is rare, and I have not yet experienced an ice-storm here. Mostly, it just rains, and I’m okay with that! Rain or shine, the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I know many people who follow my blog may think “home” is more of an Ireland state of mind for me. But, when I saw the photo challenge this week, I knew exactly where I belonged.
I’m the last person you’ll find waking up early on a Sunday; however, I somehow managed this weekend in order to get some early morning shots in the Skagit Valley. I was hoping for fog to capture some good landscape shots. That didn’t really work out. Instead, I found a bunch of Common Teasel – a weed found all over the Northwest – looking rather majestic covered in frost. I’m not much of a landscape girl anyway; the small details are much more fascinating.
Birds love me so much, that they even leave snow replicas of themselves for me to find. Ha! That being said, I dedicate this post to my bird-loving friend David who, until recently, has had trouble capturing live subjects.
Bitterly cold winds blew through Whatcom County a couple of days ago…but no snow. Meteorologists promised, and for a while some flurries got my hopes up…but there was no snow. I had been hoping to take pictures with my new Nikon D90.
30 minutes south in Skagit County, however, so much snow fell that a stretch of the freeway was closed after dozens of people abandoned their cars, and snow plows couldn’t get through to clear the roads. Fellow co-workers in the area spent hours digging themselves out, and schools were closed. David got some great snow pictures. But, not me. Not up in poor old Whatcom County.
Today I finally made it down to Skagit County, and there was still plenty of snow. (Yay!) Ironically, it was the icicles that caught the attention of my camera on its first photo walk and not the snow. You can see by the shape of the icicles that Skagit County must have had its share of cold winds. I loved the formations!
I’m losing interest in the cold beauty of winter.
I’d previously stated that photography had the power to make me forget about little things like…the cold…frostbitten fingers. What was I thinking? My fingers were so cold, I lasted 20 minutes the other day when I got this picture. I’m ready for 70 degree temperatures again!
How’s this for textures? Having spent a couple of hours in the snow, and suffering from numb fingers, I almost missed the cascading icicles on the moss-covered rock face on the way back to the car. What’s five more minutes in the cold anyway? This ended up being my favorite shot from the Sunday photo walk.
Sure, the rich summer meadows and rainbow spectrum of wildflowers may be a bit more exciting in a landscape shot, but there’s something calming to me about Mount Shuksan in the dead of winter. Walking through compact snow that muffled each crunch of my boots, finding beautiful frozen objects with each turn, I quickly forgot it was below freezing. The fact that I had been cold didn’t even register until I was hit with the sting of warming fingers back in the car. I just love this time of year!
The first photo walk of the year was with Andy, and we traveled up Mount Baker Highway for some pictures of snow and ice. It’s bare and dry in Bellingham, but an hour up the road it’s still a winter wonderland, and it will be for some time.
It is really difficult to take a decent picture of snow-covered things! Without much contrast, the camera doesn’t pick up the small details your eye sees. So, I tried to find what color was available. This small, ice colored branch is one example. More to come this week!
I was socializing and shopping tonight, so I didn’t take any photos. I’d say that’s okay once a week. 🙂
The sun has been a scarce thing in the Pacific Northwest recently. Big surprise there – it’s December. So, when I was going through some photos tonight, I found this – actually from just a couple of weeks ago. It made me happy to see what the world looks like illuminated by sunshine. It reminded me that no matter how much rain falls, how windy it gets, and how long the grey skies last, Spring will eventually return.
There is one story I’d like to share from today, though. There isn’t a picture to go with it. As I was driving to work this morning, I realized I’d left my ID badge, driver’s license, and debit card at home (since they’re all together). I was too close to work to turn around, but I was nearly out of gas as well and knew I’d need to refill to make it home .
Two cool things happened. First, I found a $25 gift card to Fred Meyer at work. Not only does Fred Meyer have food, it has a gas station. But, even if I hadn’t found the gift card, my good friend David basically offered me $50 to get through the day. I really do have to say, I have great friends. I’m sure that no matter what happens in my life, I’ll always land on my feet because I’m surrounded by the best people on the planet. 🙂
I’d also like to throw in a Happy Birthday to my stylish, fun, and pretty much all around awesome friend, KIM who is turning 40!
Have a happy Friday everyone!