(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Snow

Hey! Remember when it was almost Spring?

I remember a March or two wherein the sun shone and the clouds parted.  Today?  Today it dumped snow.

I don’t know about you, but my feeling is that photos like these should not be possible in March.  Sure, in Saskatchewan or Minnesota, but in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia?  Actually, I think it was warmer in Saskatoon today than it was here in Chilliwack.

Stupid global warming.

Nice photography weather, though.

Sumas Mountain (again)

It dumped snow over the last couple of days, as though Winter is screaming out to make sure we don’t forget about it as Spring approaches.  Thankfully, it’s been mostly on the surrounding mountains.  Here’s some fresh snow on Sumas Mountain.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Regrets


So, this is one of the most frustrating topics from the WordPress Photo Challenge.  I don’t know exactly what to do with “Regret“.  There are many photo challenges where I’ve felt just that – challenged.  But this?  Well, here goes.

Now, if I make some decisions that I wish I hadn’t made, take action in the wrong direction and wish that I’d acted in a different way, then I feel regret.  If I conduct myself in my relationships in a way that breaks trust, that is unethical or immoral, then I feel regret.  If I leave my house without telling my kids and wife that I love them and live everyday as though it might be my last (because it might be), then I will feel regret.

But I see decisions and actions as footsteps in the snow.  Let me see if I can explain this.  When snow falls, there’s that moment where everything is pristine, untouched.  But there comes the time when someone takes a step into the snow.  There’s steps and missteps, there’s dirt tracked in and grass that suddenly shows.  There are those snow angels that never quite look angelic, but there was an attempt by some little devil to make himself better for a moment.

Here’s the cool part.  None of these things are permanent.  The snow melts.  Or new snow falls and covers everything over.  If I live with regrets, I spend all my time thinking about all those things that are left in the snow.  Even when they’ve been covered.  Even when they’ve faded and disappeared.

My philosophy?  Don’t live with regrets.  Make more angels.  Have fun making new steps in pristine snow.

It seems I’ve gone back to the Prairies

I grew up in Saskatchewan.  Well, until I was fourteen, that is.  I lived on a farm outside of a village called Osler, about 35 kilometers north of Saskatoon.  The landscape is as flat as you can imagine and the snowdrifts are colossal.

The drive home, yesterday, was not horrible, but certainly reminded me of my youthful days.  The mountains disappeared behind a wall of snow and the prairie came alive in front of me.  I even managed to get a photo of a pickup truck – the official vehicle of the Saskatchewan farm.

Driving in the Fraser Valley is less than ideal.

This is what it looked like to drive to work this morning.  My school, and district, had a snow day but the teachers did not have the day off, so off I went.  My friend and colleague, Kris, and I drove to work in his truck.  It was kind of nice, if treacherous.  I’m not looking forward to going to school tomorrow as the weather and roads haven’t really changed, but I guess I’ll wait and see how everything turns out.

On the way home, we were treated to the undercarriage of a semi-truck and an overturned Ford Explorer.  The safety gear stood out nicely against the snow.

How’s the winter driving for you?  I hope it’s better than this.

Who’s the fairest of them all?

Snow White, of course.

It’s been snowing here all day and I love how white everything is.  It certainly appeals to the high-contrast aesthetic I so enjoy. As someone who has some red-green color deficiencies (not color blind, but seriously deficient), the snow turns the world into a black and white and grey paradise.  I love how, as I look out my living room window right now, I see children in the distance sledding on the park hill and the entire scene is devoid of color.  Just dark figures moving on white background.

So, hooray for black and white!  Hooray for snow days!  Hooray for contrast!  (alright, the last one was a bit lame)

I know it’s Sunday, but here’s the Photo Friday challenge: Cloudy

The snow that fell on Friday and Saturday has some very nice side effects.  The fields are full of snow (in Chilliwack, anyway).  The side roads are nearly impassable, thereby curtailing any errand-running outside of the necessities.  And…the mountains have taken on a Tolkien-esque quality that is majestic and forbidding at the same time.

The best part of the photo above (truthfully, a panorama made up of three separate photos) are the clouds.  They are beautiful and terrifying – full of possibly treacherous precipitation.  I guess we’ll see.

You can find the rest of Photo Friday’s challenge for Cloudy here.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Peaceful

It started snowing last night.  By the morning, the world around my house was white and snowy and full of gleeful children’s voices sliding down our neighborhood sledding hill.  But last night?

Last night, the world got quiet.  The poet David Berman has a line in his poem Snow that goes like this:  “Our voices hung close in the new acoustics.”  There is a closeness, a quietness, a peacefulness about a snowy night.  The whole world goes quiet.

Thanks to WordPress Photo Challenge for the topic this week:  Peaceful.

Snowy power! Wait, no…Winter energy! Um…maybe…

It snowed last night.  Right here, in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia.  It dumped snow for many hours, but there’s always a little green to go around.  This is kind of what winter looks like where I live.

This is one side of my commute home.  Despite my distaste for snow and winter cold, I do consider myself lucky that this is my eyeful on the way home every day.  Pretty sweet.  Or, maybe, just pretty.

Sunrise Zen (plus some Canadian cultural stereotypes)

I know that I’m perpetuating a Canadian stereotype by posting this photo (“…and yesterday’s,” he added, sotto voce), but the beauty of a snowy sunrise is nearly unsurpassed by any other experience.  The way the snow looks a kind of blue, but the orange of the fiery sunrise is also reflected, gives this snowy photo a kind of zen, cool calm.  The air, for your reference, was cool and brisk and the snow was dry (until I stepped through a thin layer of ice to find a big puddle).  I know dry snow might seem oxymoronical (it’s a word – if it wasn’t I couldn’t have said it and written it), but this snow is light and fluffy and can be swept from your car easily.  That’s the way I like my snow – that’s not the way I’d ever want to be described.  “Oh, yeah, Marc?  He’s light and fluffy and can be swept from your car quite easily.”

Oh, and for all of you thinking of heading north of the 49th parallel and asking for directions to the nearest snowmobiling or skiing venue, stop by my igloo.  It’s right across the street from the ice rink and skate park.  I’ll make sure you make it to your snow safely.

Stop, in the name of snow.

I don’t often shoot in the high aperture range.  I think it flattens out a photo.  Today’s photo was shot at f16 entirely to show the mountain in the background in some detail.  If you shoot manually at all, try playing with the aperture on your camera.  If you want shallow depth of field, shoot with as low a number as you can.  If you want everything in detail, shoot with a higher number.

Oh, and this is why I was whining about the snow.  Snow?  In February in the Lower Mainland?  Really?  Ha ha, global warming.  You got us again.

I feel like Ned Flanders!

So, I was driving home from work yesterday and as I left Abbotsford and grew closer to Chilliwack, the snow started to fall.  Well, not fall, exactly.  More like, um, assault my car.  I could hear it hitting the windshield with a “paff” sound that made me think of disintegrating moths.  But thousands of them, at once.  Visibility grew to nearly nil, drivers around me slowed to a near halt, and we all took part in the Lower Mainland ritual of cursing weather we don’t understand.  For whatever reason, the moment it started, I thought of Ned Flanders, when his house was torn away by a tornado and the town pulled together to build a new house for him.  The work they did was done “Shoddilly-iddily-iddily-diddly” and Ned tries to “diddly” his way out of his rage, but then finally explodes in “aaaw hell diddly ding dong crap!

Every time I see this episode I think that someday that’ll be me.  It makes me laugh, a lot.  And when the snow started to fall last night on the drive home, I felt like Ned.  But then I got to thinking.  Why do we curse the weather?  What is it about precipitation that can bring out the worst in us?  Why is it that snow can make me curse, and hail makes me laugh?  Why do I feel better when the sun comes out, even in the middle of a cold and stormy day?  Why are clouds associated with depression (even the pharmaceutical companies have played on that trope)?  Why are we so emotionally wrapped up in weather?

BTW, I “sepia-ed” this same photo because both my wife and I thought it had an “old” look to it.  What do you think?  Which is the better photo?

Reflections after a snow day

I like the way things reflected in water have a surreal quality to them.  Like we’re peering through the looking glass and on the other side is our world, only not quite.

Yesterday was a snow day, but today was a slush day.  Welcome to the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.  One day, you’re sledding down a hill of fine powder.  The next, you’re driving through a 7-11 Slurpee.


Today was a snow day.  I’m a teacher, and could not make it out of our driveway, let alone to the highway to get to school.  When the kids got up this morning, my wife and I were ready.  We had breakfast and got out to the local sledding hill, which, conveniently, is right across the street from where we live.  We were on the hill by 7:30 in the morning.  No one else had even touched the hill with the exception of a overly ambitious cross-country skier who left us a couple of trails to follow.  It was dark and the kids had never used their sleds before, but we were all excited.  My wife cut the first trail and the kids followed that over and over again.

By 9:30, we had been sledding for an hour, there was a snowman in the backyard, and the driveway was clear.

It was a great day.

Gathering snow.

Photo Friday challenge this week is “Gathering”.  Tonight, as I tried to digest an immense amount of food ingested during a wonderful family Christmas gathering, snow started to fall.  It’s been getting colder as the week’s gone on, and the drizzle turned to very light snow.  The snow never really gathered significantly anywhere, but there was a gathering of snowflakes in the air.  Does that count?

Chilly day in the Valley

It was chilly today in the valley.  Must have hovered just above zero for most of the day.  I know this because this morning, when the raindrops left on my car were frozen, the mountains all had fresh caps of snow.  A lovely bunch of cupcakes with vanilla frosting.  This evening as I returned home, the frosting was still there.

I took a detour tonight, through the farms that exist alongside the highway.  The blur in the foreground is one of the many friends I’ve made on my commute.


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