Tag Archives: winter

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Lake photos in winter

I live in a fairly (s)urbanized area that has pockets of lovely natural settings. Near me is a small, popular lake. No swimming, rare boating, some fishing, but mostly viewing – there’s a wide pedestrian path that circles it and it is regularly trod by many.

I visit the lake more in warmer weather, but then so does everybody else and it can be quite busy with picnickers, walkers, large groups, radios, kids, bikers, joggers, dogs, and so on. Also, mosquitoes and ticks are an issue in the summer, not to mention, frankly, the funky smell that wafts from the water.

I have been to this lake many times and while I have always appreciated it, I was able to see it with fresh eyes by taking pictures one day last week. (I’d taken the occasional photo in the past but only with film, so my photos were rationed and of questionable quality at that.) I went hog-wild and it felt very decadent to take so many shots. A few of them are really quite nice. I felt invigorated and exuberant when I was done. Being outside on a cold day, near water, and really focusing on my surroundings, moved my spirits.

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There’s a peaceful spot not too far from me where I took a few photos on New Year’s Day. The road itself is closed to thru-traffic nights, weekends, and holidays, but open to pedestrians. It was quiet yesterday but is often a good location to see wildlife. These pictures are from a bridge over the creek.

I left a piece of bridge railing in the picture to show you the vantage.

I left a piece of bridge railing in the picture to show you the vantage.

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If you look at the far back of the picture, centered, at the top of a tree is an eagle's nest.

If you look at the far back of the picture, centered, at the top of a tree is an eagle’s nest.

Slightly closer view.

Slightly closer view.

I'm afraid clarity is lost in the close-up, but here you can clearly pick out the nest.

I’m afraid clarity is lost in the close-up, but here you can clearly pick out the nest.

View of the opposite side of the bridge.

View of the opposite side of the bridge.

Where’d my beloved sun go?

I’m well aware of the shortening of days. It bothers me, leaves an unsettled feeling for what’s ahead, not quite dread, but a distant cousin of it. Another blogger referenced the “pitiless elemental ferocities,” which is about as good and succinct a way of describing winter’s harshness as I’ve ever heard.

A summer girl through and through, I’ve diligently made a point to “make my peace” with the darker, colder seasons, to counteract the gloom with plentiful indoor light and cheery decor, and to find things to enjoy in the weather. It’s a stretch at times; once I’ve acknowledged the scrumptious pleasure of huddling under a thick pillow of blankets, cozy and satisfied, on a chillingly cold winter’s night, or sipping a cup of hot chocolate after an invigorating foray outdoors, the “list” starts to kind of dry up.

The change in day’s light, the brisk early mornings, and the first leaves turning, are naturally the obvious signs something is afoot. But there are secondary shifts that I have not thought about as much. It’s the quiet. The fans and the air conditioners are silent and still, the doors and windows are shut, and the chirps of birds are distant and less frequent. Everything feels muffled. I feel disconnected from the outside world, residing in my own bubble.

In time, I will adjust and become more comfortable in the bubble-world, shift gears, and invest more in the kinds of pastimes that are best suited to long, cold winter days. I will pop corn, knit, and sing ditties around the hearth. All right, I’m kidding – just want to make sure you’re with me. I can’t knit, I can’t sing, and there is no hearth. However, corn WILL be popped.

I know that I will stare wistfully out the window, trying to imagine what summer felt like, trying, unsuccessfully, to remember it. I never truly can. I know I did this or that, but I just can’t quite get back there, and part of me secretly, irrationally, fears the warm season will never return. I feel like a simple, ancient human who thinks I’m being punished by vindictive gods who’ve stolen the sun.