Centennial Winter Photo Anthology - February 2013

Of all, time must be the most fleeting. We cannot grasp it, close it in, or stem its progress. Yet, photographs do let us capture some of its essence, perhaps steal a 'piece' of its soul! So I wander through the seasons, camera close, trying to encapsulate the highpoints of those disappearing moments.

Once more I share the shining moments of a month - a month gone to never return, yet remembered in these snapshots - still lifes seeking to rebirth the moment, or at least the feeling it invoked.

As frigid fingers begin their melt and sun's rays lengthen, snow becomes a frequent guest. Yet snow may pile deep in the draws, stealing my sweat as I replow my once-packed trail - yet between snowy dumps the sun breaks through, blinding in its exhaltation!

And so, throughout February, one fine day followed another with significant snow drops in between. As the white powder deepened below the blue heavens above seemed intent to keep pace - seemingly bluer each day than the one before.

On frosty mornings the aspens shone like crystal strings on dark velvet.

My January passion - ice art - became limited to the leavings of rare morning fog. Still, ice crystals do make last year's lilac blossoms bloom again.

For some reason these photos capture February with unique accuracy - fresh snow on Jackpine against endless sun-streaked blue skies.

Despite the deepening white fluff, my 'snow-flower' continued to bloom, its delicate blossoms seemingly unaffected by their cold 'flower bed'.

Another hard frost turned willows into grizzle-headed men watching the sunrise.

Mt current favorite winter pastime - snowshoeing - had to continue with rhythmic regularlity to pack the new snow into submission on my trails.

Yet one has to appreciate the artistry of wind and snow. Simple fox tracks turn into designer 'stairs' up the hillside while snowmobile roughened surfaces are returned to newborn splendor.

However, the winter wonderland 'king' - at least for me - is always the sun. Here it gilts the sage with a shimmering unearthly beauty.

Day after day my winter excursions were filled with unspeakable beauty. Simple snow, stately trees, and ever-deepening blue skies combined in ways photos could never capture.

Yet not all my time was spent soaking up natural beauty and marveling at the privilege of living in such a serene spot. Guests came - and work called - thankfully (otherwise I wouldn't be living here).

A rare trip into the valley even gave opportunity to capture a bit of Madison Majesty. And, courtesy of a lovely winter guest, Peggy, I can show you how to take a picture with helmet still in place!

February came and went, a series of lovely days and deepening powder, like a string of precious jewels intersperced with silver beads. Am I blessed, or what?

Lady of the Lake


Centennial Winter Photo Anthology - January 2013

All season long I trek, camera around neck or an appendage to my hand. I click and snap and ponder for angles and perspectives to capture a symblance of the beauty wherein dwells my life. Then I post and share and show that world to you - - - and never are we satiated, you or I.

As the season draws to a close, I have a collection of photos yet unshared. Thus, over the next three (or so) posts, I will share a photo anthology of each winter month - a collection of photos, mostly unshared, of my life in a true winter wildlands. Those snow covered off-the-beaten hills and dales I call home.

The photos are in chronological order - and so, that first day of January we welcomed gorgeous blue skies, and the snowshoeing began in earnest - sometimes on my own, most times with the dogs, and occasionally with a family member to chatter away the minutes.

Soon guests began to make that trek - for food or drink or just a warm place to relax before their ride back to 'civilization'. Early season tracks on the lake always take an artsy pose, as though a giant brush is drawing designs on a pristine canvas.

But blue skies do not a pristine white canvas create. Goodnights whispered to star-filled skies may proceed good mornings howled by wind-whipped snow under dark burdened clouds.

Snowy days lead to - well, the obvious, more snow. More snow leads to - well, if you're a kid, that is obvious too - a BIGGER snow fort!

As the snow deepens, the visitors increase. Thus, for adults, snow days lead to - well, the obvious - work days (and lots of old friends to greet in a new season)!

However, in the Centennial, January isn't famous for its snow so much as its biting cold. Several days the thermometer just couldn't push above the -20 (ish) mark. While this keeps the outdoor excursions to a minimum, it creates some lovely window ice art!

And some glorious sunrises! With short days and long nights, I am up long before the sun. Of course this results in absolutely NO excuse for not catching the sun's cape tossed across the morning sky.

And the most amazing ice crystal art! Such was this delicate beauty that in a world bursting with natural wonders it became, for a few days, the only thing I wanted to see!

The days pass. Each day the sun arrives a bit earlier than the one before. Yet lovely sunrises are still a large portion of my winter delights!

Those lengthening winter days provide ample opportunities to relish the brilliant world under bottomless blue-dome overhead. Fresh snow and a setting sun turn the resort into a winter fairyland.

My favorite snowshoe trails become nearly overburdened with winter eye candy - beauty to the eye of a beholder thrilled with the opportunity to view it.

Of course, I'm not the only one enjoying those glorious January days. A ski behind the snowmobile is one fun way to 'play' in winter's playground.

However, the dogs and I still opt for the snowshoe - to ridgetop or draw bottom, it matters not as long as we are out and about experiencing the wonder of winter.

Release from frigid fingers comes with a little burst of warmth. Now the dogs and I aren't the ONLY ones out and about. Where on earth did this mosquito come from? No, I didn't kill it (although I thought about it). Surely the coming chilly night did the job.

The end of another lovely day! Fresh snow. Brilliant sunlight. A comfy home in the middle of it all. What more could one ever desire?

Perhaps icicle frillary to garnish the white winter cake! Simple drops of water turned to white fluff metamorphize to frozen fingers before our wondering eyes.

And so, the end of a month packed with winter delights closes - the calendar pages turning ever so gently to reveal yet another - - - what wonders will it bring?

Lady of the Lake