Friday, February 7, 2014

Gifts Of Lights

I have to own up to not enjoying this winter as much as I'd have swore I would if I'd been given the forecast up front.  I'm not sure if it was the extreme cold early on or the wind that accompanied it, but other than a morning here, afternoon there lately, I've been nearly miserable.  If I'm thinking about heading to Alabama for a vacation?  Send.  Help.

I've really been bothered by this.  I've had so much beautiful snow and very few beautiful snow pictures.  I haven't even really made much of an effort to take pictures.  I did take a short walk back to the ponds the other day, but it was more of an exercise than a treat.  Tonight, as I was feeding and my fingers were so cold they hurt, all I could think about was getting finished and going to the house.

As I made one last trip out to the bird feeder, crunching through the icy snow, I noticed that my sweet little all time favorite solar light in the entire world was flickering brightly buried deep in the snow.  This little lantern has to be almost ten years old and lately sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Any time it's shining is a gift, at least to me. 


I grabbed the camera, sat down on the cold snow and took some pictures.  And a deep breath.

Earlier, Auntie Reg had reminded me that the ISS was making a good pass over us tonight.   If you haven't watched for that, you should.  What an amazing thing to think about, those astronauts up there circling around and around the earth at almost 18,000 mph.  It was pretty cloudy and I doubted I'd be able to see it, but I hadn't gotten the mail yet, so timed it just in case.  I opened the front door and was startled to see the Christmas lights were on. 


These lights haven't been on since early-ish in January.  In fact, I'd made a half-hearted attempt to actually turn them back on after this latest snow, but wasn't successful.  I have no idea what made them come on tonight.

And I've never noticed these shadows around the mailbox before.  They weren't really quite this obvious, but I set my shutter speed a hair slower to pick up some extra light.  The glittering snowflakes were an extra reward :-).  I played around with my camera for another minute or so, looked up and, zoom, there went the space station.


The night was still.  Cold, but still.  I didn't even notice.  I stood leaning up against the mailbox looking at the sparkling sky, sparkling snow, sparkling lights.  I could smell the snow.  Could smell that it was icy, no longer fluffy.  Hank barked off in the distance, but there was no other noise.  The quiet of snow.  The beauty of winter.  A gift.



26 comments:

Lori Skoog said...

You caught some very beautiful shots Sara. Nice, when you know your way around a good camera!

Michelle said...

Wonderful photos, especially the one that captures the sparkly snow!

Christine said...

Whoa! Those are some amazing shots! I particularly love the reflective snowflakes--awesome! And that last one needs to make next years calendar cover.

Tyche's Minder said...

The lights are lovely. I often go down to the road to get the mail after putting the barn to bed. It amazes me that I *ever* enjoy being out in the cold in the dark, but often that time of night is beautiful. Especially when it's still and clear out. Your pictures capture that feeling well.

Stephen Andrew said...

What beautiful photos!! You have such an eye. I'm sorry you're not enjoying the snow "like you should". I don't blame you a bit. The extreme cold and ice+animals=worry. I'd imagine so anyway. It's a challenge for me with one house dog. Can't imagine the pressure if I had animals who lived outdoors!

The Dancing Donkey said...

Sometimes, you just have to go out and stand in the dark to see the light.

I did a bit of that myself tonight. Great minds...:)

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh I loved the sparkly snow you got at night! I know the feeling of really cold fingers. Alabama sounds good to me too..it has been a long winter. You have captured the beauty of it..I will have to look around some more with a different attitude:)

LannieK said...

You've captured the beauty of winter! Love snowy sparkles :-) I've felt the same way this winter, but I know I'd be missing something really special if I were to move to those warm wiinter climates. ~::::Still love winter:::: ~ even at -29
Thank you for the beutiful pictures!

Pam said...

Sara, these are amazingly gorgeous. Looks like a boxed set of Christmas cards to me. I can just feel the stillness and hear sweet Hank barking. Well done.

Andee said...

It really has been cold! I always say if it is going to be this cold at least let there be snow on the ground. Well there is snow on the ground, but I really am enjoying the few breaks we get at 35 degrees. In the mean time it is fun to find the highlights of this extreme cold where ever we can.

Michelle said...

These are some beautiful shots.

Shirley said...

And the Lord said, "Let there be light". And there was! Some beautiful photos, but even more beautiful is the enjoyment you got of the moment, even if it was too cold!

Bee Lady said...

The lights are beautiful in the snow, and it does look peaceful, but I gotta say it out loud....I'm over it. I am done, finished, O.V.E.R. it. But I have taken a lot of pics of it. It's so pretty. I don't care how pretty it is though....pictures can be pretty in the summer too and I'm ready!

Cindy Bee

PS - I'm telling Keebs....about that last picture!

Jan baby said...

Sara, you have a beautiful way of looking at the world and expressing it through words and pictures. This is why I so enjoy reading the "personal" blog. When's Hank's book coming out?

Sarah said...

Very pretty pictures. Makes winter seem not as brutal when you can look at it in such a lovely light.

Auntie Reg said...

"Silence is Golden"

Deb W said...

I want one of those solar lights! So cool!

This has been such a rough winter, I'm not surprized even those who love the cold weather have about had it.

MarmePurl said...

We all need a little sparkle in our lives now and then. SO happy you found yours in the humblest of ways. Even happier that you shared your gift with us.

Fiona said...

What wonderful photography, I think we are all suffering a bit from this wild ride of a winter. I know here we have had record cold followed by rain and flooding!
Have you considered publishing a book of your photography? I have been going back through your blogs to my delight, it is a marvelous journey! There are such touching photos, one of my favorites was taken at Nistock farms, a ewe in a barn doorway shadowed by dark in front and the light of day behind her and lambs...simply incredible! Thank you for sharing your journey!
PS: Spring is in the air...ask the sheep!

flowerweaver said...

Beautiful!

majorasue said...

Lovely pictures, as always. Glad you were able to find some pleasure in a hard season.

Eleanor P said...

I bet last night helped make up for some of the lost magic in the snow.

Carole said...

Love the photos Sara and how beautiful is that solar light, I LOVE it!

Maureen said...

Wow.... incredible shots Sara! Winter is a gift. I just love the cold and the quiet of snow. Good thing I live up north eh?

Miha Giustina said...

Such peaceful pictures:-).

The Odyssey Farm said...

Lovely post, Sara. Thanks.

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