When we got an early heavy snowfall, I couldn’t wait to get out in it. Snowshoe heaven. Especially since I was to have some surgery and didn’t know what the recovery would be like. Whether I’d get out into it again or not. Turns out that I would, but it didn’t make this day less momentous and wonderful. I even got to play with making my own sun rays.
It’s a little challenging to do. I almost always seem to get glints of lens flare, too. The shot above has a little of that, but not so much that it really bugs me. The shot below seems clear of it. I don’t try for this effect a lot since now it can be faked with Luminar (and probably other editors), but I couldn’t resist it on this amazing December day. If you want to try this on your own just face the sun and stop your lens down pretty much all the way. Careful about shooting directly into the sun. You can damage your image sensor if you do it too often or for too long exposures. Blocking the sun behind trees or other objects can help.
We had about 10 inches of snow on the ground, maybe a little more, I can’t remember, so I sank quite a bit despite 27″ snowshoes. It was so powdery though that it wasn’t too heavy and easy to shake off. Being powdery was good to since it didn’t stick to the bottom and ball up. I hate that about snowshoeing. Luckily in Wisconsin we don’t get sticky snow very often.
The light was direct, but amazing. No one else had been along this trail – a segment of the Ice Age trail on the non-esker side of the Mondeaux flowage. I’d hiked that side a few years before in the fall and it was wonderful, but a bit too hilly for snowshoes. So I went for the flat option.
I have friends from the south who don’t understand winter. Anything below 60 degrees is a cause for mittens. It’s funny how conditioned we get. They think I’m crazy to live up here, but since I like winter and have fun in the snow, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. The frozen mud ends of winter I could do without (late fall & early spring, really), but the deep cold makes spring so much more precious as a result. The contrasts. The anticipation. The relief. And how could I stay away from beauty like this?
The shapes and shadows. The contrast between light and dark. The wind when it sends snow showers from the trees across the trails. Winter has its own splendor that flies in the face of louche summer with its gauzy bowers of leaves and petals.
So embrace winter. Get some decent gear and get out in it! The minute I became a snow lover the year’s bounty stretched and stretched. No more inside stir-crazy blues.