Out here in Flagstaff, winter is (assuming it snows enough) bright days with the sun bouncing light from the snow everywhere, white too bright to look at and deep dark shadows. Ponderosa pines collecting snow in huge clumps in their needles, and then when the sun comes out, dropping them with a window-shaking thud on the roof over my head, or on my actual head while I’m shoveling. It’s getting your skiing in before the snow melts down, and watching the flakes float past my studio windows when it snows again, which is one of my very favorite things about this room.
In Michigan, from whence we just returned, winter is different. And to me, totally beautiful. The bare branches against a grey sky are a delicate tracery of subtle colors and shades, more muted but lovely scenes are in the dried branches, the white fields. After spending the morning playing with my little nieces, I escaped outside with only my camera. I got that “what are you finding out here to make the picture worth your freezing fingers?” look from at least one Midwesterner I ran across, but that’s the beauty of something unfamiliar, seeing the hibernating landscape with my fresh eyes, I saw worthwhile photos everywhere.
The landscape also meshed well with these thoughts from Kimberly at The Year In Food:
And I love darkness, in the sense that this is a season of long, dark nights, quiet, rest, hibernation. There’s merit to embracing it rather than fighting it and I try my best to do so each year. Perhaps easier said and done from the mild coast of California than in the thick of a midwest winter. But that season of rest is here, nonetheless: the fallow land, the bare trees, the grey skies, the long nights, the snowy mountains off to the east and north. Let’s embrace it, friends.
I often find myself this time of year longing for warmth, summer, light and long days of it. But seeing a new winter landscape reminds me of the beauty that is here right now, a quiet one perhaps, but one worth enjoying just as it is. Here’s to embracing your season, wherever you are!