Snow soldiers in a new year

The new year of 2023 has followed in the footsteps of 2022 with more snow. Yes, it’s winter. Yes, it’s the north. And yes, it’s expected. But it’s been unusual for us to have a parade of snow storms dumping feet of snow, and beautiful snow at that. In some areas the trees have suffered. Young pines have bent over with the weight of heavy snow on their branches. The tops of the oak trees, with their brown leaves still clinging to the branches, have collected the snow. They too have arced downward to the ground. In the suburban areas we are running out of places to put the snow. So instead it just gets added to the already large piles, growing taller and taller with each snowfall.

But in a nearby red pine forest the trees have stood tall, covered on one side with a stripe of snow. They stand at attention to the winds that blow, and their tall trunks cast long shadows over the white snow on the ground. I see it as a testament to their longevity and their sturdiness. And their example of surviving a continuing winter.

Light and shadow play

I was at the McNeely Conservatory at Como Park the other day and found myself mesmerized by the palms.  They’re towering and huge but this day the sun was filtering through the dome and creating some imaginative shadow and light plays.  Part of it reminded me of puppet shows we used to create when we were children.   I found myself trying to make up stories as to what was going on.  This image seemed to be of a flock of birds at the bottom; others weren’t as abstract as this.  Either way, the lines, the colors, the shadows, and the light all came together amongst the palms.

Sometimes it’s the light

Light from the fenceline 0214_StaatsThe weather was cold yesterday – barely up to zero with a biting north wind of 20+ mph.  With those conditions I chose to work inside for the day.  I walked past the south window several times, looking at the patterns in the snow as they changed throughout the day.  Eventually they called me outside to photograph.  The sun is still relatively low in the sky, making for some wonderful lines as it slid through the fence and threw its light on our meager snow.  There were bits of leaves and tree debris that danced across the pattern, and a rabbit had made its way across the yard and its footprints slashed through the light and the dark.  Sometimes it’s the light that pulls the scene together and tells the story.