Cold and Clear

The past week felt mostly gray in every sense. Heavy skies, filled with clouds. Snow and ice on the ground. COVID19 numbers climbing fast again after the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays. The invasion of the Capitol in Washington that somehow was frightening and farcical. Confederate flags, a guy wearing horns. People with guns and plastic ties of the sort used for “handcuffs.” Everyone, it seemed, taking selfies, which sometimes led to their arrests. (I suppose that last point makes the comment legitimate for a photography blog.)

And on top of that, it was the first week back to work for me after two weeks of combined PTO and holiday time off. I did not have much time for photography, or much energy and motivation.

The weather on Saturday felt more like Minnesota than West Michigan. Bright sun, clear skies, sharp cold almost 20 degrees below freezing. I stayed around the house and played in the back yard with my camera. The strong sun meant strong shadows. I watched them play and move over the day.

Most of the footprints you see are from rabbits and other small animals. You also can see a few from kids next door.

My two favorite images from the morning are shots of a tree where my yard meets my neighbor’s yard. It reminds me of some of the shots I took in the past couple of weeks in Aman Park–trees in a tangle of other trees and bushes. The trees in Aman Park don’t have bird houses in them, however.

The last shot is a the cover image for the blog post, again, so you can see a bigger version if you want. Seeing this light through my kitchen window led me to stay home rather than bundle up, look for hand and feet warmers, pack an extra batter or two, anticipate putting my camera in a plastic bag at the end of a hike (to keep water from condensing on when I take it back into the house), etc.

Winter scenes make for some beautiful images. But dealing with the weather is a pain in the butt, especially when you’re feeling a bit lazy.

Stay warm, and stay safe. And, given the week’s events, keep your head and think clearly.

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