“It’s the unexpected beauty in the most commonplace that often surprises us” – Ed Lehming
This has been the nature of winter in my region. The days warm and cool rapidly, causing condensation and wonderful frost patterns on windows.
The window here happens to be right next to my desk, so I see the patterns change on a regular basis. It’s especially nice in late afternoon, when the low sun shines between the pine trees behind my house. It’s been a nice bit of colour in the otherwise dull winter we have had lately.
iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/500 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20
“Beneath your burdensome regrets and who you think you are through the lens of past mistakes, there is someone beautiful who wants to emerge.” ― Bryant McGill
Spring has arrived! Though, somebody needs to inform the weather. In stark contrast to last week, this one has been quite chilly. Despite the sun shining brightly and turning open trails to mush, the forest floor remained locked in a shallow frost. At least enough to create a thin skiff of ice on the small forest floor puddles.
These leaf filled puddles, with their yellow, brown, and gray occupants, are like a miniature canvas, reminding me of the spectacular fall last year. In a few more days, the ice will be a memory and green will return once more to the forest floor, followed by bright trout lilies, pink spring beauties, and white trilliums. I even noticed a few wild leeks beginning to emerge from the chilly earth.
Nikon D300 Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm 1/100 sec, f/7.1, ISO 250
Winter can be such a thing of wonderment. The photo above was made in December of 2014 while on a trip to A Place for The Arts, an artist cooperative in Bancroft, which I am a member of. The drive was generally uneventful, with the occasional blowing snow and a few drifts over the road. There had been a slight warming the day before and a quick cooling down which created a marvelous, almost magical, frosting on the tree branches along the road. It was beautiful to see the frost shining and twinkling in the trees along the road but it was not till we got into open areas with higher elevation that this effect really revealed itself. Along the far shores of Paudash Lake there are several high ridges and all the trees on these ridges were completely encrusted in a thick, pure white, layer of frost. I have rarely seen a scene of such intense purity as it dazzled in the mid-morning sunlight.
This is like a scene from Narnia where the White Queen has made her presence known in ice and snow. The frosted pines along the shore just accent the effect. A photo can hardly convey this type of scene, but this one come as close as I could have wished for. By early afternoon the frost had melted, or been disturbed by the wind, and the drive home was nowhere near as beautiful.
Now, when I drive along this lakeshore, even in summertime, and look at this shoreline, I will always be reminded of this particular moment in time, when winter came visiting the Paudash shores.
Nikon D300 Nikor 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 78mm 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200
Now that it is finally warming up, I thought I’d take one last look at how this past year’s winter came in. November was fairly mild and offered one light snowfall that quickly melted away in town. The day of the melt, I decided to go out to one of my favourite local trails (East Duffins Headwaters) to get some vertical pans in a grove of trees I have enjoyed on a few occasions. I was surprised to see how much of the snow cover remained in the forest. The grove of tress was my destination, and like so many other hikes, the journey is much better than the destination. The grove of trees, as it turns out, was a disappointment in the end, but I was able to make several beautiful photographs on the surrounding trails, which I will share in subsequent posts.
On this occasion, the trail in was covered in wonderful orange oak leaves and the snow had largely melted off, due mainly to the foot traffic. The bright leaves, combined with the late day light, made the entire scene glow. Even the yellow-green undergrowth seemed alight with sunshine as an archway of snow covered branches stretched above ahead of me. The colours where incredible and I look back on this moment as one of those special times when I was fortunate to have my camera with me so I could save and share the moment.