It’s that time of year again. It goes without saying in my family (How ironic! I’m going to say it!)….I HATE shoveling. Even though I have a snowblower for big snowstorms, it barely makes it tolerable. Although I do love having the wind whip the snow right back in my face when snowblowing. NOT!
Every time we get any measurable amount of snow on the roof, I take the snow rake to the roof. At this time, there are pockets where the insulation in the attic space is not done properly or is insufficient. A quick sidenote – my wife and I have owned 3 older homes in MN. Each one has had DIY projects needed. The last two have pretty much been full rehabs. We like older homes and the character found inside and out. But they usually offer up insulation that can be lacking in sufficient r-value for the wonderful ice tundra of MN. The result is a cyclical freezing and thawing of the snow, causing ice dams to rise up and rival Mt. Everest if the snow is not removed. Getting back to our current house – on days I need to remove barely measurable snow from my roof, I set up a coin meter at the entrance of my driveway with a huge blinking neon sign displaying a snow rake. Dozens of people pay “2 bits” to park in my driveway and watch “the weird guy” raking the roof. I also set up lawn chairs for the neighbors who walk on over. I’m kinda’ nice that way.
While I’m outside mumbling unkind words about shoveling in Minnesota, my wife periodically pops out to remind me what a beautiful winter wonderland it is! “Why yes it is, honey! Come grab a shovel and see how wonderful it is!” Disclaimer…she does help me out if needed. Ok, she also doesn’t pop her head out and say that. It’s too cold. On a good day, it’s -40 degrees for crying out loud! Any words from her mouth, as soon as it hits the cold, sounds like bad radio static. They just turn brittle and break up, nosediving to the ground.
You might just think, “Steve really hates winter”. Well…yes and no. I don’t like the shoveling aspect of it. I’m also not a fan of the length of it. But I love the photography aspect of it. Winter offers wonderful photo opportunities for those of us willing to dress like Ralphie’s younger brother and embrace winter’s multi-faceted displays.
I Can’t Put My Arms Down
One of my favorite photography shoots is after a fresh fall of snow or in areas where the snow has not been disturbed. There is an ethereal quality to an untouched landscape blanketed with snow and ice. I find myself walking in silence, in awe of the showcase of pure white snow everywhere. On a sunny day, I’m also regaled with the sparkling jewels of the untold numbers of snowflakes twinkling in the light.
The two images in this blog were taken within Governor Knowles State Forest in WI. It is a wilderness buffer for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, one of this country’s original National Wild and Scenic Rivers. This particular day found me trekking in snow up to my knees. I was the only person around that I could tell. I love those kind of days. Days where my pace can be slow and deliberate, immersing myself in the scenery all around me. Days where I can pause and take all the time I want without dealing with other parties coming into view and, sometimes, getting into the composition I’m setting up. Don’t get me wrong. Our parks, forest, rivers, lakes, etc. are for us all to enjoy and to do our part in keeping them pristine. I just really love it when I have a location to myself. There is something about solitude in nature that, for me, is restorative and life-giving, full of contemplation and yet full of joy.
I read the following quote in a blog I follow. It’s a great reminder for me to never let winter stop me from seeking treasures to be discovered.
“The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body.”
So….sometimes I’m not ok with winter. I mumble and I grumble. I’m like the little boy who did not get his way. But…sometimes I am ok with winter. And when I am, with a camera in hand, all is right with the world.
What hobbies/pastimes do you indulge in that make everything right with the world? Would love to hear why as well!
Any comments and thoughts are always welcome regarding the blog and/or image(s) posted. Feel free to share them below in the comments section. Thanks for allowing me to share with you “images from a quiet world”.
Interested in these images for your home/professional environment? Clicking the links below will take you directly to the gallery page where you can order them.
Winter Snow And River
Winter Snow And River 2