An icy hike, in -20 C temperatures, but glorious, nonetheless. I spend two hours breaking trail in this frigid wonderland. More images and thoughts to follow.
“Winters are a desolate time where all senses are wiped away, and here in Canada, this is especially true. All smells are sucked clean from the air, leaving only a harsh, icy crispness. Colours are stripped away, leaving a stark white landscape, a sky which stays black at night and gray in the day, a world of only three shades.”
― Rebecca McNutt
This is an image from yesterday’s hike in a nearby forest. Like the quote says, winter is reduced to three shades, with a hint of faded colour. This tangle of trees seems to say “Do Not Enter” as they fade into the distant, chilly darkness. Even the purity of the snow speaks unfriendly notes of warning as the forest is locked in a robe of ice.
It’s hard to imagine that mere months ago, I was swatting mosquitoes in this same spot as I photographed orchids along the trail. Though, I have to admit, I do like the change of seasons, as each reveals new aspects of the scenes before me.
I was going to say that yesterday’s hike, at minus seventeen degrees celsius was cold, which it was, but today dawned at a crisp minus twenty-seven, making me reconsider a hike today. It may be a sit back and read day.
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 400
“We must leave this terrifying place to-morrow and go searching for sunshine.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald
Though the forest image above is far from terrifying, at least for me, it can be a dark, foreboding place to many people, especially when you look deeper into the forest, as the tree trunks weave ever tighter and form a dark wall. Yet, even this wall has a gap and the sunshine pours through it, streaming into the path before me.
There’s something about winter light, it’s the coolness, perhaps, that makes it feel so much clearer. Definitely not warmer, but still refreshing in its own way.
The trails are now fully snow filled an I’m about to head out again to see what the day brings.
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@75mm
1/4 sec, f/14.0, ISO 200
“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Hoping this find everyone healthy and happy and enjoying this time of the year in whatever way brings you joy, even through this Christmas post from the Secord Forest trailhead.
“It is growing cold. Winter is putting footsteps in the meadow. What whiteness boasts that sun that comes into this wood! One would say milk-colored maidens are dancing on the petals of orchids. How coldly burns our sun! One would say its rays of light are shards of snow, one imagines the sun lives upon a snow crested peak on this day. One would say she is a woman who wears a gown of winter frost that blinds the eyes. Helplessness has weakened me. Wandering has wearied my legs.”
― Roman Payne
Here it is, the first day of winter, the Winter Solstice. Though snow has been on the ground for a few days now, this is my first real venture onto the trails for a few days. I am now on Christmas holidays and decided that since work is done and presents wrapped, I’ spend a few hours on the trails just clearing my mind.
Today was bright, but overcast and quite chilly at -8 degrees celsius. This also meant that I had the trails to myself, which I prefer. With a few mild days before and the cold today the trails were a bit icy, but not treacherous, as they often get after heavy traffic packs the snow down. So, I was able to hike in boots, without the need of cleats yet.
The change that a bit of snow brings is astounding. Light appears in places that have been shaded all summer and the lack of leaves opens the forest up so you can see further and deeper, revealing the subtle changes that the previous three seasons have created. I’m also seeing things ‘more’. I’m more aware of subtle changes in the forest, since I’m out making photos all years and that has made me more aware of the things around me. So, I am experiencing this first day of winter with new eyes and a new perspective and simply having the time to fully immerse myself in it.
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@85mm
1/4 sec, f/25.0, ISO 200
“The dream crossed twilight between birth and dying.”
― T.S. Eliot
This will likely be my final image from the ‘Night of the False Dawn”, as I have chosen to call it, though I did make many more images. This image shows a cluster of pine trees on the horizon with a background of brightly lit clouds. Keep in mind, this is around eleven o’clock at night.
The light, as my previous posts noted, are caused by light pollution from the city of Toronto and are the result of ice crystals in a low cloud deck reflecting that light. It has an unsettling, dystopian look to it, not a typical, cheerful winter scene.
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@82mm
0.8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200