150 Firework Finale150 Firework Finale

Forward Thinking

March 01, 2014  •  5 Comments

- Spring Forward -
   If you live in the same hemisphere as I do, you're no doubt very tired of winter at this point, as it has indeed been a winter for the ages. With damaging ice storms, tens of feet of snow in places, record low temperatures, power outages, and even the Great Lakes almost completely freezing over though they have not done so in years, this frigid season has certainly tested even the most hardy of us winter folk. Yet the unusual cold and snowfall have also brought awe-inspiring beauty, unique phenomenon, and good old-fashioned winter fun. My husband built a system of snow tunnels and curving sled tracks in our front yard... it's been decades since there's been enough snow to play like that. In my photographing journeys I've come across "frost flowers" (hoar frost) and "snow bales" (rolls of blown snow), the Northern Lights, and even "thunder snow" and lightning. Frost BonsaiFrost Bonsai Blizzards that obscured vision in front of your hands later left winter wonderlands with trees, houses, and landscapes covered in pristine white. Before freezing over completely, the relatively warm lake would send plumes of billowing steam into the much-colder air above, creating an ethereal view at sunset. This bitter season has been harsh, but it has also allowed us a glimpse of interesting and almost-forgotten cold weather phenomenon, and I'm surprisingly grateful for the little pleasures I've been granted during this seemingly endless winter. Thanks, winter. Great job.
   But I'm bored now. I've seen it. Next, please. 
   Despite recent temperatures being the coldest in over one hundred years in some places, spring is on its way. Really. The lake is thawing. The birds are returning, and singing their praises and hopes. Although more flakes fall almost every day, the snow piles... okay, snow dunes... okay, okay... mountains, are shrinking. Slow, quiet, almost undetectable, but definitely there... spring.  Winter's Dripping FangsWinter's Dripping Fangs
   Most people have a few projects in mind for when the warmer temperatures arrive; cabin fever and a lack of options usually have most of us dreaming of the great things we can accomplish just as soon as spring unleashes its glory, thus unleashing our energy and creativity. Or something like that. I am itching to get out on the area trails and also to discover new ones. I love walking in the woods in spring, it really heals the soul after a long winter's night, so to speak. Those more familiar with my work will know I'm drawn to trees and woodlands and forest paths and the fantastical sense they evoke within me, so I have a mind to create new fairytale-esque images, perhaps even "branching out" into portraiture and employing models. I also intend to add quite a few photographs and digital paintings of various homes and dwellings around Kincardine and area to my growing collection. I started this project mid-winter but am having trouble with "curb appeal" at this point due to the six-foot snowbanks lining the streets and hiding front yards and friendly facades. Frozen Front YardFrozen Front Yard Mind you, that hasn't stopped me, but rather challenged me. And during these wintery blues kind of days, it's refreshing to challenge yourself creatively!
   Look forward to spring and the wonderful activities planned, but don't spend the rest of winter in a slump... rise to the challenge(s)! That way, when spring gets here, you won't greet it like a lamb... you'll already be roaring like a lion and ready to pounce on opportunity.

 

 


Comments

- SARAH CHISHOLM - Fine Art & Photography
Thank you to everyone for your comments and for your encouragement towards writing a blog. Now I'm gulping a deep breath and wondering what I'll write about going forward... no pressure!
My garden is also suffering the effects of an unusual winter. The hedges will never be quite the same! Hopefully the spring and summer will bring beautiful (but non-destructive!) thunderstorms and warm, long days and star-filled nights. It won't be long now ... though, Maggie, if I could leave for England tomorrow, I wouldn't hesitate!
Happy creating.
Maggie O'Regan(non-registered)
Lovely blog ...nice one Sarah, the first chapter promising an exciting new adventure to follow.... Thankyou for letting us come along with you!
We too are having unusually heavy weather on this side of the Pond and your world looks quite magical compared to our very soggy Planet London! I'm also getting bored with indoor pursuits and my feisty outdoor cat is going stir crazy he so hates getting wet. No wearing my big furry coat, snowmen or sledging this year.... Not even the tiniest sparkle apart from reflections! It's been the wettest for centuries with a vast part of the South underwater or suffering from the effects of rain, wind and sea damage. The extremely high winds, that blew a massive brick wall onto my car in January (amazingly only broke a headlight!), have abated for now and luckily I live above flood level (as long as the Thames Barrier holds) and in a ground floor apartment so don't have to worry about a leaking roof. Outside though it's getting increasingly boring wading out though the gigantic puddle in the car park, getting soaked in the downpour before you've made it to an infuriatingly steamed-up car; not knowing if in 30 mins time it could be sunglasses on and feeling hot & stupid shopping in wellies, layers weather is upon us and I haven't even given some of my cold weather outfits an outing.... yet....
My poor gardens are looking very sludgy and broken with trees weary of trying to stand upright and pockets of still flowering but very battered summer annuals looking very out of place still hanging out for a heavy frost to kill them off. Against all odds though the crocus and daffodils are in bloom and catkins are appearing on my birch tree so Spring is creeping in and at least the darkness is almost over. I just hope the Jet Stream obliges and moves up to where it should be and the rain stops in time for it to dry out enough to work on or another year goes by without my dream wildflower glade outside my kitchen window and I'll have to watch the endearing but destructive fox family taking over the default jungle it so quickly returns to without an early Spring taming! It could just as easily snow still but I doubt it. You never know though, nothing is as predictable as the unpredictability of the British weather and my forward thinking's often thwarted before it's got off the paper.... Right now I'm thinking Marsh planting might be a better option but their again it could be another hot summer like last year.... I hear they're contemplating planting rice in Somerset - very resilient us Brits, much like yourselves in your snowy land! Unfortunately being maritime our weather is a variation of wind and rain extremes rather than your, personably more preferable depths of snow ... At least when the blizzards stop in Canada everything's sparkly and bright unlike our grey dry days when everything looks like it's drowning!

You've got to laugh though and admire the awesome power of nature ... how arrogant we mere humans are to imagine we're in control! Still a vague plan is better than no plan at all...adaptability is the answer .... back to writing the Master plan for 2014... alternative options for indoors and out .... An activity centre for the cat might be a good start to stop him blaming me for his incarceration and let me get on with doing something creative without having to fend off a heavyweight Bengal bully in a murderous mood.

Good luck with your new ventures Sarah and keep sending us news and beautiful photos xx

PS I love the photo of the house, a lovely contrast, peeking out in the midst of the frozen forest, very magical and wonderfully sparkly x
Amy M(non-registered)
Beautiful work Sarah and Im liking this blog! Looking forward to winter being over myself but I give a sigh because your winter photography is so beautiful and breathtaking...then again I ancitipate spring and what it will bring with your photography and art! :) So either way its awesome!
Corinne(non-registered)
Love your new blog, Sarah - nice to see you writing again, and it's a great addition to your gorgeous photography. You are an inspiration because your eye can find so much beauty even in this harsh winter we've been having. These stunning shots make it all seem worthwhile!
Joanna(non-registered)
Wonderful!
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