Winter 2012

Life at Elk Lake is never predictable. Oh, yes, summer follows spring and spring follows winter which comes sometime after fall - but the variations in length of season, the temperatures experienced, and even the time of year we experience each season has varied more than one might expect in our eight years in the Centennial Valley.

Thus, as it appears (as of this week), spring may be coming early this year, I decided to post a few more images of winter. After all, although it has been a weird winter (at least compared to what we have experienced in prior years), it has been a strikingly beautiful winter. Lots of sunshine. Blue blue BLUE skies. Plenty of wildlife. And, although it came late, some beautiful snow.

These images are a collection of 'impressions' and 'scenics' taken over the winter and on various of my treks.

One of the things I love about fresh snow is the new face it puts on old objects. Not only is it clean and pure, it totally changes the 'look' of ordinary things. Take this dead tree. I might have passed it by without the snow, but with sugar snow adorning its surface, it took on the look of a pre-historic snake.

Or this scantily clothed little Jack Pine tree. Once adorned in snowy white, it takes on the appearance of a modern designer Christmas tree.

This old log - the remains of one an old growth fir now enriching the forest floor - changes from a dying relic to lovely creature merely pausing for awhile on the forest floor.

Or take this 'stump' - the lower part of a dead tree which dropped its top years ago. With snow fingers painting contours upon its 'face', this old tree becomes a skinny black bear just escaped from his winter den and stretching to full height to iron out the winter wrinkles as he overlooks his territory.

Of course the snow art is not limited to wood-based objects. Even something as obnoxious as stick-seed becomes a thing of beauty with a snow coating.

However, the most spectacular winter bouquet I spotted this summer was a grass-based creation enjoyed on rare winter hike on the refuge.

Winter's beauty at Elk Lake is never limited to the snow's artistic creations. The scenery from Elk Lake Divide is awe inspiring - especially after fresh snow!

Looking the other way is just as impressive. It is breathtaking!

The beauty is not limited to the high points. Deepening snow changes the face of everything. This spot - one many of our guests have visited - shows the snow's ability to create an undescribeably peaceful landsccape. For those who haven't figured it out, this is Narrows Creek Pond.

Another 'common' spot visited by even more guests - the view from the boat dock - takes on a totally different look, but just as spectacular in the winter.

And, to finish the series, here is another picture of Mt. Jefferson. The opening shot is from Elk Springs Creek out in the refuge. This one was taken on the edge of a frozen Widgeon Pond.

Ahhh - I know I say this over and over again - but I just cannot imagine any place as beautiful!

Lady of the Lake

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