Monday, January 03, 2011

A Stark Beauty: New Years Eve and Day

This has pretty much been me after Christmas.
Outside adventures galore.  Camera at the ready to capture the memories and beauty of winter.

Even a humble hurricane fence looks special with dollops of fluffy snow tucked into the mesh.

The snow sticking to the branches overhead shifts glitter like down on me with every whisper of a breeze.

The occasional falls are actually fun.  Bernie saved the camera this time. I had handed it off to him after I did two face plants with the camera resting against my chest.

(Bernie's December "Calendar Boy" shot.)

The stream sounds different now that the ice is taking over.  We stopped several times just to listen.

This morning Bernie discovered that it is possible to take pictures in black and white with our camera.  I told him there really wasn't any point in switching; these pictures were all taken in color mode.

I get a thrill walking around in new untrodden snow!

The swirly pattern in the ice surprised me. I had always thought streams would freeze with crystal clear ice.

The bowed branches stayed down while we were walking. 
I've seen them suddenly fling off the snow and spring up when the sun hit.

Our path through the woods.

I'm not sure if that is me or B. 
We just kept handing the camera back and forth.
It was very, very cold on New Years Eve with snow flurries sparking on my glasses.
The hike was a wonderful way to close out the year.

New Years Day was sunny, and bitterly cold.  We drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Solitude Ski Resorts Nordic center, where we had experimented with cross country skiing.  This trip, Bernie skied and I snowshoed
Can you believe how deep the snow is flanking this road?

Overhead the trees loomed large against the blindingly bright sky.
Just looking up to take this picture almost made me fall over; the trees were so tall and the sun was so intense.

At the end of the road was this house sporting flags of several nations.
I wonder who lived there.  Was it just a vacation cabin or a year around home?
If they ever have an open house, I want to see inside it.

Shadows are wonderful on fresh snowfall.  That lavender blue shade is fantastic; I don't think it was a color to be found even in the super big crayon box.

I did mention that it was bitterly cold, didn't I?
10 F.
Read it and weep.
I did...the cold had made my eyes water constantly!

Funny how you can't really tell how cold something really is just by looking at a picture.

I will also note that while it was cold in the sunshine, any pause in the shade made the cold penetrate even my thickest snow gear.
If there had been wind...well, the above picture would not have looked nearly as uniform. 
Also I would not have been out there to take the pictures either.
(I just hate wind.  Sitting on a ski lift with wind whipping through my head gear, with my nose numb and my eyes frozen shut was one experience I hope never to repeat.)

It is absolutely maddening that Big Cottonwood Canyon has mostly "No Parking or Standing at any time" signs up at all the places I want to photograph.
Bernie found a place or two to pull over so I could get pictures were just too good to pass up.

Gorgeous, no?

The icicles were amazing.  I was using my point and shoot camera zoomed out and no tripod.  Boy would I have liked the luxury to do a closer shot of this scene, but there was no safe way to get there.

The "close at hand" shots were pretty nice though.

I really wanted to get closer to the river so we found a place where we could park and snowshoe in closer to the water's edge.

That is Bernie up ahead.  When I caught up to him he also commented that it was friggin' cold!

The shale's colors were wondrous.

The starkness of the trees growing out the side of such rugged landscape...

How do they do it? 

Oh to see this in sunlight, wet, at sunset...

A stark beauty to ponder on New Years Day.


Sara said...

The colors on that shale are is that gorgeous turquoise water in an earlier photo.

Lovella ♥ said...

Gloriously beautiful photos. I am always amazed at how cold it can feel in the shade and yet in the sun with no wind it is not so bad.

They say we could get some snow tomorrow. I'm ready. I have a pot of soup ready to pretend we are having some serious winter. I just might be able to do one snow post.

running wildly said...

I honestly saw that photo of Bernie and thought he was playing air guitar in the snow. Yup, I'm a child of the 80's. ;)
Happy New Year to you, my friend.

ellen b. said...

Yikes! These photos are just gorgeous. You really could make a winter coffee table book with them. The one of your calendar boy is so funny. Love it. Snow really does make the mundane gorgeous...

Linda said...

Your snow is amazing! I love that icy blue colour of the sky.

Vicki said...

I was shivering as I looked through the pix...brrr! I love the snowy've got several calendar-worthy shots in there, not to mention that pin-up pic of Bernie! :)

You know all that snowshoeing is great for your leg muscle tone, as well as your glutes! :)

a woman who is said...

Your black and white photo's just took me right back to my childhood in a New England forest. They are just beautiful!

No wonder you are spending so much time out in all the snow!