If last winter was the winter of "Snow", to date this winter had been the winter of "Slow". In fact, winter started so slow I think we were all starting to fear it would forget to come at all. It seemed almost ironic, in January, to be wishing for snow after last May's prayers for the snow to please leave! In fact, were it not for the snow we received in November, we would not have been open for business in January. But. . .the seasons remain constant and winter follows falls - - - eventually. This year, not for a very long time! However, it has finally arrived - and we are probably enjoying it more after the long wait.
Our first 'real' blizzard finally came - and oh how much we enjoyed watching the snow fall fast and furious from the leaden sky. It blew. It drifted. It cascaded down to cover everything in our world like a white cloud settling upon the ground.
True to a 'typical' Centennial Valley winter, the next morning dawned bright - and clear - and WOW! As the sun began to creep down the hillside, I watched a new world appear before my eyes. Powdered sugar frosted trees. Untracked - pure - pristine snow. A landscaped softened and yet beautified by the same frozen substance I was tempted to curse last spring yet found myself rejoicing to see now.
Of course, as is so often the case - the beauty was not limited to the landscape. While my better half has spent many days improving the resort - tightening things up, replacing windows, adding insulation (all in an effort to make winter life more comfortable) - I was glad to find one window which still captured the beautiful images frost paints with frozen fingers.
Nonetheless, as beautiful as the frost art on my window, my eyes kept returning to the visions of winter grandeur outside. So, even though the sun had yet to raise the tempterature above zero, I headed out the door, camera in hand, to try futilely to capture something only an amazing Creator could imagine.
One of the first things to catch my eye were the tracks. Although the snow had only stopped falling sometime during the night - and although the sun was just making its assent - critters had already been out and about, leaving behind their tracks. Near my feet a fox had trod not long ago (bottom left). On the nearby hillside, a moose had meandered munching his way up the hill (center of hillside in the distance).
Snow has an amazing ability to make everything look just a little prettier - a little fresher. Perhaps it is the 'random' brush-strokes with which the snow 'artist' paints. Perhaps it is the texture. Perhaps the color variances. Whatever the reason, snow often turns something commonplace into a work of art - and not one easily copied!
How about a sunny spot to settle in and watch the day come to life? While the dusting of snow (and the outside temperature) diminished my interest, I could help but try and capture the feeling.
The local bird house was looking a bit uninviting this snowy morning. However, you have to admit the snow added a lovely diminsion unseen in the summer time.
The chilly air soon chased me back inside, but I found (as so often happens), the sun was working its magic in the dining room. No wonder I find this room irresistable - particularly on a sunny morning. Who wouldn't want to settle back with a hearty breakfast, a good book, and a hot cup of coffee?
The cold morning didn't keep our guests inside for long either. The bright sunny skies, untracked powder, and unlimited places to play and explore tempted them to gear up and head out right after breakfast. Their comments at the end of the day: "AMAZING! AWESOME! I DIDN'T KNOW IT COULD BE SO BEAUTIFUL!"
Of course (and thankfully), they weren't the only ones out and about that day. Soon more guests arrived, and it was time to return to work. But. . .the feeling remained. Throughout the day my eyes (and thoughts) kept straying outside to enjoy the magic of the slow snow which has finally arrived!
Before you go - take another look at the sky in that top photo. Have you ever seen a bluer sky? That photo is NOT color-enhanced! That is what it really looked like. I now understand why they coined the term 'bluebird sky'. The only time I've seen anything to compare (and quite frankly I do not even think the birds have the same intensity and depth of color) is on our Rocky Mountain Bluebird. I must quote my guests: AMAZING! It almost didn't seem real. Ahhh - another glorious winter day at Elk Lake!
Lady of the Lake