Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Suspended in Ice and Winter Light

The morning sun sparks pale gold in a pewter sky, slanting through the grove where I stand and shiver. There is frost on the bare trees over my head, and there is a skim of glassy ice on the puddle underneath them. Sunlight claims the pine needles and ice crystals suspended in the water, making them twinkle and glitter and flash by turns. The chancy meeting of the elements forges a pleasing abstract image, but almost everything else is muted and hazy this morning. The damp cold penetrates right through to the bones.

Late November finds northern dwellers perched between Samhain (or Halloween) festivities and the frantic scurryings of Yuletide. Migratory species like loons and herons have been gone fro the eastern Ontario highlands for weeks, but a few small flocks of Canada geese remain in local farm fields. Nights are well below zero now, and it will not be long until the geese fly south too.

The rural landscape always seems empty at this time of the year, a pallid sepia study carpeted with crunchy field grasses and crowned from here to there with skeletal, whiskery trees. It is beautiful for all that. Never mind shopping malls with their towering gift displays and trite holiday carols, this is where it is at.

A north wind whips through the wooded hollows above Dalhousie Lake, scouring the earth and driving fallen leaves, pebbles and twigs before it. The bottom of the gorge at Geddes bridge is lashed with torrents of water a few degrees above freezing - the rocks glisten, and they wear the season's first slick shards of lacy ice.  Winter weather is wild "stuff", absolutely exhilarating  when one is in the right frame of mind and wearing the proper gear for rambling.

Here we go again, another long white season in which the artist wraps up in every warm garment she possesses, slings a camera around her neck, crams her pockets with peripherals and goes off to plumb the mysteries of winter.  She can do this, and really, she is looking forward to it, at least for now. When she returns home later, she will regretfully move autumn's vibrant images from her computer onto an archival DVD, and she will create a new folder called "Winter".

5 comments:

Barbara Rogers said...

We had an early Thanksgiving this year, which gave a bit more space to prepare for the Yule. Your Canadian Thanksgiving is more respectful being even earlier! I'm ready to release Autumn already.

Shell said...

Maybe because I was born in Winter, I love the starkness, snow and quiet of Winter. It's one of my favorite seasons. I wish I lived closer to a forest to experience it's full beauty.

Mystic Meandering said...

Love your photo, Cate! Looks like bubbles :) Magical
Am so glad you will be pottering through the woods for another year,
and sharing that beautiful winter scenery...
We were 81 degrees yesterday! ugh. This morning 36, creeping into the 40's.
Was supposed to bring us a light dusting of snow, but didn't...
Winter awaits...

Jenny Woolf said...

How beautiful. And that ice photo is almost alive.

Pamela Brooke said...

Thrilling to imagine what will find its way into that "Winter" folder on your computer.