(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “Winter

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.

Ansel Adams is one of my heroes

There’s a story I read, once, that Ansel Adams told about his “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” photo.  It is one of the most evocative photos, with the moonlight reflecting off of gravestones and crosses in a cemetery in New Mexico.  As he tells it, he was driving away from another photo shoot.  He saw the moonlight reflecting off the cemetery as he was driving, so he pulled over to the side of the road, took out his camera and climbed up on his car, set up his tripod, managed a shot and…then the moon moved on.  A minute later and he would never have taken this photo.

It’s a cool story because of the timing.  Much of what makes a good photo is timing.

Above is my photo taken along the Sumas River.  It’s as much of an Adams photo as I’ve taken so far.  He will continue to inspire me and I will continue to photograph.

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.

Photo Friday: Pristine

My entire world has just drastically changed, literally speaking.  The snow that has shut down my city for the last four days just turned to freezing rain.  The temperature in the clouds is warm enough to be raining, but the temperature on the ground is four degrees below zero. What that means is that everything is coated in a thick layer of ice.  I snapped this in my driveway because I liked the way the light was playing off the ice coating my car.  Also because I have no desire to drive anywhere until the temperature heads north of zero.

What is beautiful, however, is how the entire visible world outside my window has this unbroken, unsullied, pristine shininess.  So shiny…

WordPress Photo Challenge: Simple

Nothing simpler than a photo of a reflection.

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.

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.

WordPress Photo Challenge: Winter

I have to admit that this photo was taken over a year ago.  The Lower Mainland of British Columbia has not seen winter (the WordPress Photo Challenge this week) yet – I think we had a snowfall back in November, but the snow lasted all of twelve hours.

I chose to go back to a photo that I never did process, but that was more due to the fact that I wasn’t very familiar with what Photoshop could do, nor with what I could do with it.

I hope you like it.

Merry Christmas Eve (from the dock)

Winter sunsets are so convenient.  With the shorter days of winter, it’s much easier to get out and snap photos of sunsets than it is in the middle of summer.  As long as I’m willing to put up with colder days, I also get earlier sunsets.  I think that’s a good trade-off.

The geese who should have gone south for winter

We’ve not had much of a winter here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia so our feathered friends have not gone south.  To be truthful, it’s not very cold here most winters, but there seem to be many more geese around this winter than previous ones.  Case in point…the photo above.

Winter sunsets are nice

I stopped in the grocery store parking lot to take this shot.  There are days, like today, when I’m glad I pack my camera with me pretty well everywhere I go.

BTW, it’s really hard to get the clouds to look as awesome in a photo as they do in real life.  I hope you can get the same feeling of awesome-ness from this photo as I felt while photographing them.

I wish this was how my day ended.

Instead, my day ended with a drizzle at 4 degrees.  It did, however, end with a cold walk with a friend in that 4 degree rain and that was good.  The photo is from a few days ago when the weather still reassured me and made me feel like I was living in the most beautiful place in the world.  Now, I feel like I’m living in the “before” part of a depression medication commercial – all clouds and grey and cold.

At least I’ve got the memory and photo of last week’s beautiful sunset.

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.

In this post: wet streets and street lights

Yesterday, apparently, was the last day of joy in the Lower Mainland.  It was sunny and cold and beautiful.  The sunset (check last night’s post) was gorgeous.  Today?

Today, the temperature dropped.  Wet slush fell from the sky.  It’s currently raining so hard that I have to turn up the television.  The Lower Mainland’s winter has started.


A walk in the park.

A bit of a rehash, although I’ve never posted this particular photo before.  This is from the first days of my current camera.  I snapped this back in the autumn of 2009.  I’m posting it here, today, because of Photo Friday‘s “Trees” challenge this week.  Seeing as how it’s been raining torrents here in the Lower Mainland and I’ve been finishing off the second term of the first semester of school, I’ve had few chances to shoot anything new in the past week.  So, here’s a walk in the park, so to speak.

I love the colors, which is saying something because the lower mainland of British Columbia does not get a very long, nor vibrant, fall.  We have two seasons:  wet, and for two weeks in the summer, hot.  I’m not complaining.  I’m flying to Edmonton next weekend and already I have a chill in my underpants thinking about weather at 20 degrees below zero, so warm and rainy is not so bad.  But when I have to miss out on all four seasons, I might be allowed to whine a little.  So…wah.

Pretty barn is pretty, and its twin is nice looking, too.

We have had a ton of rain lately, to the point where many of the smaller rivers and streams have been overflowing their banks.  All of the low spots in fields around Chilliwack have been filling up with water as well.  The weather’s been so unpredictable lately – last week there were small children skating on this pond and now, you can’t tell there was a snow day last week.  I’d hate to be a meteorologist right now.

What has been great is the number of photographic spots.  For whatever reason, I’m really feeling the reflective business right now.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m at the semester end or if my subconscious is feeling neglected, but I want to take pictures of everything with a reflection right now.  Maybe I need a counselor.  Oh well.  Pretty barn.

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.

Steve, the lonely Snowtrooper.

“Join the Corps!” his friends told him.  “See the galaxy.”

No one told Steve that the galaxy would be this cold.  If only he had some hot cocoa.

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.

X marks the spot


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