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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Winter - It's almost here

In every season of life, there are good and not-so-good parts. I try to focus on the good rather than the bad, whenever I can. It's becoming winter here in the mountains of Colorado. Every morning, the air is very cold, often below 30 degrees when Shyla and I head out for our mountain bike ride. 

Before I had fusion surgery on my lower back, I used to look forward to winter because I adored skiing. After that surgery, I thought that I'd be able to go back to skiing but I discovered that I lacked the ability to twist my lower back that I needed to telemark ski. Moreover, my neck was deteriorating to the point that my docs worried about paralysis if I fell the wrong way. So, I stopped skiing - and my reason for looking forward to winter disappeared.

I had a few years when I really didn't look forward to winter *at all*. But, a few things have turned around my attitude. One thing I love about winter is the light. The sun rises late and stays low in the sky, creating wonderful warm light for photography. In fact, I love this light so much that I sometimes daydream about visiting Alaska in the winter, when the sun hovers close to the horizon for the entire brief day. That would be really fun for photography.

This was sweet Shyla at sunrise this morning, as I focused on what I love about winter. The red color of her fur comes from the special light of the rising sun. The sun had just crested our eastern ridge at this moment.
Shyla loves sunrise, because she loves the cold and the scents of the animals who have roamed the forest all night long. When her eyes are wide open like in the next photo, she is usually taking in the scent of some fascinating animal. I wish I knew which one!
Just after sunrise, I love going into the pine forest, where the soft sunlight filters through the trees, creating an almost spooky atmosphere. You can see the shadows of the pine trees all around Shyla in the next photo.
Shyla eagerly serves as my model - because she knows that, soon after the photos, I'll ride and she'll run, frolicking in the cold air.
So, for me, I need to focus on the good parts of a season to keep myself happy. In winter, there's the gorgeous light. And, I love my snowbike which makes it possible for me to pedal to my heart's content even when the white powdery stuff covers the forest floor. I will admit that I don't love wearing many layers of warm clothing and the nip to my fingers when I pull them out of my mittens - but that's part of the season.
Parts of Mother Nature are slowly going to sleep, like the aspen trees, flowers, and bears. However, a few brave bright leaves remain, mostly on rose bushes. I'll stop to appreciate every one until they're all gone for the season. Then, I'll start dreaming of the first wildflowers next spring.
I can feel winter taking hold, and I look forward to months of enjoying the amazing winter sunshine. I'm not thinking about those -25° days or the blizzards yet!


  1. Our winter is approaching too, but I imagine it feels more like your early summer! Our days have been in the low 70s-mid 60s, with nights and mornings staying around 45. Chilly for us!
    Nola's Mom

  2. Winter is hard for my mom too cuz she is always cold. My pawrents continue to run outside all winter but Mom still found herself on the couch too often. Last year they took up XC skiing. Mom says she really struggles with it so far cuz the downhill scares her. She says there are no edges on her skis whatever that means. But she is trying to embrace the changes but it is hard. So Mr and Stanley keep showing her how to dance in the snow. So far she hasn't caught on.

  3. The light is amazing in your photos. I'm glad you're focusing on the positive. It was so beautiful in Summit this week, but I barely got outdoors. Too much cleaning and organizing with the remodel. I did sow the wildflower and perennial seeds on the snow - I see another storm is in the forecast and thought it was time. Keep warm!

  4. Each season has it's own spectacular beauty. And we love the way you share each season with us.

  5. Winter.....oh YES!

    We felt the nip on our fingers today when we visited the French Cross in Grande Pre, Nova Scotia. Jim said he thought that it was so cold tonight that the rain may turn to snow. We'll see. Our winters are so wet and so the coldness gets into the bones and aches. Not much fun but you are right about the LIGHT and finding it and using it to the photographer's advantage is a BIG YES !!!


  6. We hardly know it's winter here in Houston, so we have a realy appreciation for yours! Happy Fall!

    What lovely photos!!!

    wif lubbs from Little Reufus

  7. I like winter a lot more now that I don't have to fight through traffic in a snow storm to get to work. Playing in the snow with the pups always makes me smile too. We don't know how Walter will react to the snow, but if he takes his lead from Millie we are in for a lot of great snow wrestling and zoomies.


  8. And we are happy you are gracious to recieve the gift that the winter shares with you.
    A light that you capture with your eye and camera- and makes your world so gorgeous- and then you share with us.
    Your blog was so gentle and quiet---
    what we need right now-- as we think about things that have touched us in many ways.

  9. We've been having frost almost every night this week. Winter is coming, that's for sure. As for your back and skiing. Have you contacted an adaptive skiing program? Maybe a sit ski would work for you.

  10. I love seeing your photos KBPS, here in Hawaii you don't see much do a change. I sorta miss those seasonal changes. Your girl is a stunning model.

  11. Shyla is an amazing model!! Your gift of photography is awesome! I just love the lighting in all of these pictures! Winter is not my season. I do not tolerate cold well due to rheumatoid arthritis. Our nice warm fireplace is a haven for me! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pictures!

  12. Winters not all bad, even if you don't ski! There's pictures to take of frost colored leaves, and snow-zoomies!

  13. I love the way you capture the seasons in your photos.

  14. Just enjoy those beautiful sunrises that you've got now. The blizzards will be there soon enough.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  15. Such fabulous photos of you, Shyla! We love the colder temps too. It turns us both into nutty puppies!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  16. That light is perfect for Shyla!
    I am trying to find things to love about winter, I don't have one yet and we saw some of that 4-letter white stuff in the air yesterday! I am not ready!

  17. I always love reading your amazing posts and delight in seeing Shyla, she is very photogenic and a joy.

    Winter can be captivating and whilst I am undergoing dialysis x 3 nights a week, it will not deter me from being outdoors with my beautiful Kirra. -x-

  18. Hello
    beautiful snapshots .. a very nice light sparkles in the eyes ..
    regards Frank

  19. A beautiful commentary on the good things about winter. I do love the way the light picks out the beauty of Shyla's coat!

  20. What I truly love about this post is how you focus on the good things of winter. As a native of Germany with cold and long winters I first relished the mild Northern California winters. I still do, but I miss the snow (not the cold, though). We usually get our "snow fix" by spending a few days in the Sierra Nevada in January, and that does the magic. A sunny and sometimes even warm Christmas still feels wird.
    The morning light is wonderful on Shyla (but then she is wonderful in any light). I love the early morning light, and the evening light as well, for that matter. It's the warmth and the glow in it that makes it so beautiful for me.

  21. Funny. I moved from the east coast to Norcal 20 years ago thinking I hated winter and the cold. I never skied so it never held much joy for me. I don't know if it's age or the Lyme but after living in Switzerland for 2 years and now back in CA, I miss having a full 4 seasons. I really miss winter and a crisp fall. I love the "down time" winter brings, the quiet, the early nights, short days. I guess because of the Lyme, anything that dials down noise/visual stimulus is just wonderful to me. Not that I don't love beautiful landscape, but having sun on for 18 hours/day in middle of summer feels draining to someone who longs for quiet and peace. Its as if the days never shut off in the summer. I think 4 seasons are healthy for the human being. I just love "doing nothing" or reading a book because the weather is not agreeable. And you bring up an excellent point about winter lighting and photography! It's very true. Now, can I come visit? ;)
    Wild Dingo who lives in 'year 'roun Brown Northern CA.

  22. Hi Y'all!


    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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