The winter finds me with a little extra time on my hands. Thus, every winter, I plan some 'big' project. Well, that is every winter except this one. This winter I planned a lot of smaller projects. One, in particular, photo organization, has consumed much of my time.

Anyone who has spent much time on our web page or reading this blog knows I have taken TONS of pictures since moving to Elk Lake. In fact, I had to purchase a large external hard drive to hold them all.

While all these pictures add color to our web page and blog postings, they have also evolved into a massive, overgrown, overflowing mess. Thus, it was way past time to get them organized, sorted through, and catalogued for future use.

Of course, as you know, going through photos is a trip down memory lane. Thus I have relived many memories in the past few weeks as I've sorted away (no, this alone has not taken 'weeks', I have mixed a few other things in too :-) Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share some of these photo memories with you.

Take Narrows Creek with fresh snow. There is something so serene and beautiful about ice cold water flowing silently beside, under, and through newly fallen snow.

Then there are the ice crystals I spoke of last time. While I did not manage to get a picture of them at their best, I did capture this cow parsnip with a few remaining 'decorations'.

I really should carry my camera with me every time I ski. I suppose I am a little too cautious. I honestly do not like exposing my camera to the cold. It tends to create moisture problems when I bring it back indoors. However, it seems like everytime I leave it, I wish I had not.

So, after missing the fantastic ice crystal display last week, I debated with myself a few evenings ago. Rush back to the lodge to get the camera before all the evening sunlight left the lake or kick myself for days thereafter? The desire to capture the image one out! What had captured my eye? Only the most amazing snow designs I've ever seen.

No, that is not sand! That is snow on the lake's surface. The results of a very cold, light snow which came accompanied by a brisk wind. I have never seen snow anything like it. Large sections of the lake looked like a desert landscape. And, when skied across, the snow felt and sounded quite different from 'normal' snow!

While I did not manage to get a good photo of the ice crystals the other day, I did get a few pictures of some beautiful snow 'flowers'. What is a snow flower? Well, it is my term for an ethrial collection of snow flakes, arranged in the most intricate pattern on a dark background - which, for these photos, Narrows Creek provides the backdrop.

I am awed and amazed so often when I take time to really look around me. The intricate designs. The breathtaking beauty. That something so 'simple' could be so 'beautiful' always leaves me in awe. To see God's hand upon the creation out my back door is quite humbling.

By the time I reached this next 'simple thing', my camera battery claimed it was dead. Well, I've learned I can usually 'milk' one more photo from a dead battery if I fool the camera into thinking I replaced the battery. So, I tried my trick and was able to capture this image.

There is SOOOO much more I could share. Sunrises and sunsets streaked with color. Ski tracks on pristine snow. Moose bathed in an evening glow. Bo with his face powdered white. Treasures. Tidbits. Thanksgivings. Treats!

I hope you are enjoying excursions into your backyard, too. I've learned carrying a camera is a great way to teach yourself to 'see' more. So, even if I can't share it all - some pictures will have to remain in my head - I hope you enjoy these treats from my back yard!

Lady of the Lake

PS - For those of you who have a Facebook profile, why not become a 'fan' of Elk Lake Resort's Facebook page. If you love Elk Lake, share it with the world. Not only will your friends thank you, we will too. After all, in these challenging economic times, Elk Lake is a perfect place to escape the pressures of daily life and rejuvenate.

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