Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Perfect Storm (SWF)

Flakes Falling

Yesterday brought the perfect quiet of a snow.
Quiet, for the immediate response of so many to retreat indoors and leave our usually busy world much less so.
And perfect in the fact that getting out into it was, on this day, my choice.

So, stepping out from beneath warm covers, into my favorite wool socks, I gathered my things—which no longer fit easily into one sack, but three! And set off for a day at the Nature Center—laptop, camera, binoculars, cell phone, water bottle and a hurriedly packed lunch piled beside me on the seat. Hiking boots, hints of both mittens and gloves protruding from the side pockets of a large, dark jacket, and a knit hat, carefully chosen to be large enough to hide a small cat, but, on this day, just an unruly ponytail, added to the picture of one arriving and intending to stay for more than just a few hours.
This would be my place for the day.

For the better part of it, I, too, stayed warm and working—at a small table in a windowed room, while a smoky fire reluctantly gave way to flames and soft, plinking music drifted in from the gift shop next door. But after taming my mid-day appetite with a peanut butter sandwich and a darling Clementine, I gathered my gear, resituated it on the seat of the car and wrapped myself for the cold.



The trails so often filled with walkers, were empty. The lake, steel gray, with six ducks near the shore. Through the trees, the path wound and rolled past empty benches, filled on warmer days.
And I pushed faster, hoping warmth would find its way to my chilling fingertips.



In the field beyond, the little log house so out of time with all else, on this day seemed timeless. In the openness, flakes poured down from a white sky above and swirled into gray haze before resting on the grasses. In the center of it all, I stood and looked up into the stream. And wondered if this quiet, this solitude we avoid, the times when all life’s distractions are left on the seat of our cars, isn’t the perfect balm for a 21st century life.




Autumn Field Grasses





Field under Snow



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54 comments:

KGMom said...

Nina--lovely scenes; perfect sentiment.
I agree--something about snow makes us quiet and calm.
Maybe you have mentioned before, but where is the place with the trails of which you speak?

nina said...

Donna--sorry to have left the specifics out--CNC is Cincinnati Nature Center, about 30 min. from my house. And the part I visit often is known as Rowe Woods--lovely rolling acres of woods and fields, lake, prairie,...especially beautiful with a light covering of snow!

Grace and Bradley said...

You have made us missing the snow back home in New England, which we should not. We hardly see any snow in Taiwan now. We did have one morning of beautiful light snow when we made our photographic trip to New Mexico last November. http://graceandbradley.blogspot.com/2008/12/new-mexico-iv-snow-over-taos-and.html

KatDoc said...

I knew where you were! Recognized the trails even before your photo of the log cabin.

Be careful - With all the gear you brought along, you are about to steal my nickname - "Overpacker."

Hey, you don't have to explain to me. You need all that stuff, don't you?

~Kathi

scienceguy288 said...

Great shots over time. It is always interesting to see what changes the seasons bring.

TSannie said...

What beautiful photos. I love it when snow falls and there's no wind. Photos like your first one results and they're always wonderful.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Beauitful pictures.Each one portrays an aspect of solitude so well.I think my favorite may be the first one.Such delicate beauty.

Blessings,Ruth

bobbie said...

Nina, that first photo is truly beautiful. They are all lovely. The sky dropping its gift on the land.

Paul said...

The photos of the trees and the cabin create a soothing, pleasant, contemplative emotion. Thank you!

vincibene said...

Wonderful wintery scenes!

Bradley Myers said...

Your photos were very good by I really enjoyed reading the post. You described things so well I felt as if I was there, thanks.

Deborah Godin said...

A lovely way to appreciate a quiet overcast winter day!

Arija said...

Nice. Give me soltude in the hushing snow or a raging gale by the sea or sweltering desert sands, alone in a forest with water tinkling somewhere or even just in the garden or the country, but give me solitude between heaven and earth and I am at peace.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I love walking the trails near me in winter, mostly because they are so wonderfully quiet. Thanks for letting us tag along with you on your walk.

Ana said...

Lovely shots and lovely post. We had snow this morning...finaly;) Happy swf

Photo Cache said...

Thank you for taking us for a walk. This feels like a combo of swf and myworld.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Denise said...

That's a pretty walk you took us on, and a wonderful series of photograhs. Thanks for sharing.

imac said...

Beautiful collection of snowy scenes.

Rune said...

Great photographs! Happy weekend and SkyWatch from Norway :o)

Greyscale Territory said...

Stunning collection of photos! Love the sense of intimate peace in each one!

theArthurClan said...

What a beautiful place to take a walk, enjoy the solitude and peace and just reflect. Your photos are lovely.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a wonderful day...

DigitalShutterMania said...

They are great winter scenes.

ViennaDaily said...

Would love to visit picturesque nature scenes like those. Thank you for sharing! Happy SWF!

Judy said...

all of your photos today are so calming - i really enjoyed that
i especially love the first, of the grass covered with snow - so hard to find, and then harder to capture
thanks for sharing

Alan said...

Hi Nina,

Love these photos - so peaceful and surreal. Thank you for sharing.

esnorway said...

nice pics Happy weekend and SkyWatch from Norway

D Herrod said...

What a great set. I liked the first one and the cabin in the snow.

dAwN said...

lovely shots..
I Love love love the third photo with all the snow clinging to the trees ...

deejbrown said...

I feel like I am there and lose myself in these photos. Lovely, ethereal light. What camera are you using, if I may ask?

Wren said...

Lovely photos - the trees, the snow, the sky

Connie said...

I love the field grasses photo. They are all nice pictures.

Naturegirl said...

Nina all your photos are awesome..particularly the first and the first of the log cabin! What a beautiful walk you took us on! Thank you! :)NG
A wonderful entry to SWF

Lilli & Nevada said...

Nice set of photos and i really love the cabin shots

Grammy said...

They are all wonderful photos.
Have a great week
Grammy
Missouri, USA

Etje said...

The trees, the snow and the sky all is beautiful.
Thanks for sharing the photos.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hello Nina
Your pictures are as I always remember them... very beautiful and tell a great story. Your writing is always a pleasure to read and I have learned much from your blog in the past. Yours is truely one of the blogs I miss the most... it as been a joy dropping by todayand catching up. I hope this small message finds you well.
Tom

Deb said...

Beautiful Sky Watch photos!

Mary said...

Nina, those scenes made me feel like bundling up and walking with you. I can almost hear the quiet through those photos.

Thanks for taking us with you.

Mary

Tammie Lee said...

This is a wonderful grouping of images! I love the forests shots, makes me want to take a walk there. Instead I will now go walk in my forest!

Robin said...

Beautiful post with lovely photos. Although it all looks chilly, you brought a sense of warmth and peace to the scenes with your words.

PJ said...

What a perfect post, for any reason. I love taking virtual walks and watching!yours was exceptional. Happy Sky

pays to live green said...

Those are very beautiful pictures. I especially like the second picture with the trees only partially covered in snow. It seems almost like a painting.

Kerri said...

Beautiful Nina! That first shot just takes my breath away! I LOVE it!!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
I fixed a cup of tea before I came to visit. I hoped you would post a SWF.
I know this quiet that you write of. I know being bundled and deep in thought with Nature. I know the solitude you write of. It is a blessing and I too think a cure for the hurried and the worried of today. It is a choice.
Always lovely to walk your paths.
Namaste,
Sherry

Powell River Books said...

I liked the comparison shots and the trail under the trees dusted with snow. I invite you to come see my moonrise. - Margy

chanpheng said...

Beautiful and peaceful pictures. I have pictures of grasses in my SWF contribution this week - but no snow.

hitch writer said...

I simply envy envy envy your pics !!!! how do u manage so many good ones !!!

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, gorgeous as always. Love the trees and the little cabin in the snow. I want to walk down those paths! They are calling me!

Cheryl said...

I to need to be outside and at one with nature. Your writing and beautiful photographs show what nature can offer even in its harshest season. don't you think it is lovely to walk alone in such environments....
A beautiful and peaceful post.......

Julie Zickefoose said...

Fifffffty comments??? Dude.

I loved this post, too. Positively Whitmanesque.

KatDoc said...

Yeah, Julie - 50+ comments and all without pics of Chet Baker and baby manatees. It boggles the mind!

;)

~Kathi

Anna said...

Here in a built up area of north west England such peace seems a long way away. I do envy you Nina to have such such solititude on your doorstep. I love the picture of the log cabin which looks like a perfect retreat.

SandyCarlson said...

These are wonderful landscapes. Thanks for sharing the walk with us.