I like Winter. I went to Minnesota to grad school in the early 1970s, and I quickly decided I much preferred winter to summer (98 degrees, 98% humidity-ugh!). In Minnesota, winter is bitter cold, with temperatures as low as -45 at night, but the sun is shining most days. There’s no more beautiful sight than the sun making the snowy scene sparkle like diamonds. I regret that I have no photos from that time, but the memories linger.
In the Pacific Northwest, where I was born and raised, and live now, winters can be predictable-gray clouds, rain, and gloom most of the time. But, as I heard somewhere, no one ever died shoveling two feet of “partly cloudy” off their doorstep! In Minneapolis, we would hear regularly about people coming home, drunk, at 2AM, and falling asleep on their porch and freezing to death.
We do, however, get snow sometimes, and when we do, it turns our neighborhood, and our city, into a winter wonderland (and a driving nightmare). I tend to go outside with my camera, starting with my own backyard. 2019 was actually a good year for snow.
This avian visitor is a Varied Thrush, and he has an insect in his beak. We have two pairs who visit the yard pretty much year-round, as they live in the mini-forest to the west of our house.
Our Song Sparrows are also frequent visitors. I end up refilling our bird feeder often in winter.
We can tell how much snow we get by checking out the stationary objects in the yard, and measuring the snowcaps. We got the concrete pagoda for a wedding present, and it does hold quite a bit of snow.
That’s a bird-bath in front, and our Japanese Maple on the right. And out the front door:
Those icicles are pretty, but an indication of trouble with the gutters. We got that fixed earlier this year. You can see that when it snows here, the sky stays normal, Pacific Northwest gray. We natives are used to it, but our local university was a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Seattle Depression.
At least once a year, we try to get up to Leavenworth, just on the East side of the Cascades, for their weekend Tree Lighting ceremony. Now Leavenworth, a “tourist trap” that made itself into Washington’s Bavarian Village, does things up proud in the winter, with all the buildings, and trees downtown, strung with colorful lights. To get there, you head east on US Highway 2.
And when you get there…
I also have my little camera in my work bag, just to capture unexpected beauty in mundane things. On my way to work, I drive around the perimeter of Paine Field, the county airport. Who would have thought that a simple concrete-block wall would look this interesting?
And when I got to work, it was still snowing. When I went out for lunch…
In October of 2013, we drove to Las Vegas and back for a Ricochet meetup. On the way back, we drove by the Grand Canyon, and Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. It was just gorgeous at Bryce. Those red-rock features look majestic with their snow caps.
Mother Nature likes winter, too, and makes such beautiful landscapes for us to see and appreciate.