I don’t hate winter, but in the words of SallyBrown in I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown, “I’m just not made for winter!”
I was born in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and raised in Alberta. You would think that I would be acclimatized to the cold. But no. Once October hits I’m in a perpetual state of freezing. But in reflection, it is more than just the cold of winter, I don’t like shovelling, I hate how dreary and dead everything is and I most definitely despise driving on icy roads. From the first snow fall to the last, I tend to hibernate inside dreaming of sun drenched days, as the winter winds whip outside. Unfortunately living where I do, there are often more months of snow than there are of sun.
So why not move? Well….bottom line, my life is here. A day without seeing the mountains out my back window would be incomplete. Knowing I am close to my family and friends is more important than a more hospitable climate. And every now and then Mother Nature proves she doesn’t hate us Albertans all that much. So if I stop grumbling about winter long enough to fully appreciate it, I see the little gifts we are granted each winter.
- The crisp view of the mountains, unimpeded by the haze of summer
- The hoarfrost enveloping the landscape in diamonds while sun dogs dance around the sun
- A reprieve to the frigid temperatures as the Chinook winds whip across the foothills
- The soft hush to the world as the ground is blanketed in a fresh fall of snow
- Snowmen, snow angels and snowflakes on my children’s eyelashes
- Ice hearts
It is the last point that brings me to my picture of the week. I was outside conducting my newest exercise in taking better photos. It involves simply slowing down. You do not take a single photo for 15 minutes. You walk around your surroundings and begin to notice the way the lights is falling. You take notice of all that is around you. In my observations I was paying particular attention to the way the grass was poking through the melting snow. The day I took these images we were in the grips of a glorious warm spell and the snow from earlier in December was slowly melting into oblivion. That was when I noticed the ice that was also in the grass and was amazed to see this little ice heart there in the middle of my yard! Between the dogs and the kids I couldn’t believe this little wonder survived their constant stomping. I walked around this little icy heart thinking about the camera settings I would use. When I knew how I wanted to capture this wonder, I grabbed my camera and took this shot.
The lighting was so perfect that I couldn’t resist snapping a few more shots of the ice and snow.
I do like the textures of the ice, but I will admit my early valentine from Mother Nature is my favourite. How lucky I was to see it.
So the lesson from this week’s photography theme is to slow down and appreciate what is going on around me. How often do I rush from one task to the next and never fully appreciate the moment that I am in. All our lives could benefit from slowing down a little more often – who knows what we may see.