For the last three days I have been shovelling–first there was the front walkway and driveway so we could go to town. Then I had to move huge mounds of snow from the back deck and drainage pipes all around the house. This will not be news to regular readers, as my last post focussed on my experience shovelling 2 to 3-foot snow drifts. Tuesday’s blizzard also brought sub-zero temperatures. Lake Ontario is finally frozen:
To walk around the perimeter of my house, I wore snowshoes. This way I sank only one foot down instead of several feet. This picture shows my snowshoe trail down to the buried compost bin, and the next shows my snowshoes.
Finally, I would like to share the hidden beauty of the light blue glow from deep snow holes and crevices.
Porch roof dripping
Snow hills rolling,
Huge sticky mounds,
Weigh down shovel,
Strain and pant,
Stop, I need no plow,
Of sticky snow.
Push, slide, release,
Legs plunge in to knees,
Moment to fall,
Angel wings rise then fall,
Childhood games echo,
Heart beats strong,
Of blood and breath,
Gaze into winter sky.
Closed eyes savour red light,
Ice cold seeps,
Into aching sinews,
And white massage,
Of snowy berth,
Sending strength from below,
Joy of rest,
When heaving snow.
If you reached this far in the post, you get to read about the story behind this poem. On Tuesday, there was a huge blizzard that dumped a winter’s worth of snow all in one day. When I stepped out my door Tuesday evening, I fell into the snow up to my knees and I am not a short person. I did some minimal clearing that night, but the real work began next day and unfortunately, I had to work for two hours with heavy sticky snow. That evening I put in some more time–by then, the temperature had dropped, making the snow easier to handle.
My reference to blue in the poem is not a flight of fancy. When I gazed into holes in the snow, I observed blue light. I looked up the phenomena and learned that deep snow absorbs the red end of the spectrum, thus emitting blue light. Surface snow reflects all light and thus appears white. I never noticed that before!
For those who did not grow up in a snowy place, children (and sometimes, adults) make snow angels by lying in the snow, moving arms up and down; and legs in and out. My skirt in the picture was a bit messed up because the snow was deep and I had to lean forward to get up.
My odd little poem is an Echo Verseattempt in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge #18. The form originated centuries ago, in the 1600’s I believe. Every second line provides an echo of the last syllable of the previous line. I may have ‘cheated’ because I didn’t close each stanza with an echo. Jane provided this reference as an introduction to the form: Echo Verse.
Artists are inspired by and capture the world around us: sculptors immortalize people with statues; painters record events in their masterpieces. What about the other way around? For this week’s theme, find inspiration in a piece of art, and go further: imitate it. Here are some ideas:
Reenact a painting. …
Take a new version of one of your photos. Re-create your own work. Same subject, same scene, same angle. (In your post, show or link to the original one!)
Imitate a sculpture, …
Today I ventured out in minus 20 degrees C, without tech gloves, and tried to recreate the scenes in earlier photos. The results are far from ‘perfect’, but the process was fun and something I will undoubtedly try again. These are the two previously posted pictures that inspired today’s photo shoot:
Sunset by Lake Ontario, in November
Lake Ontario, January 5, 2016
Following are the two ‘imitations’ (not quite) that I took on February 13, 2016:
On Saturday morning, when I pulled back the curtain, I was greeted by a world of white falling snow. We had been going through a fake spring, with warmer temperatures and very little snow on the ground. I was prompted to write a short poem and take a few pictures.
Fresh snow, white world,
Christmas card cedar boughs
Rubbing my eyes, I laugh: ‘First snow’
This week’s photo challenge host, Krista, invited us to show what ‘helps you stay positive and hopeful, regardless of what life…throws your way.’ We have had a stretch of cloudy winter days lately, so I immediately thought of the hope that moments of sunshine bring to my life. When the sun shines my mood goes up a notch and I am more likely to take photos. I’ve collected three pictures to show: first is an example of a cloudy moment–I took the picture because I enjoyed the clouds, but I was wishing for more light. The next two pictures were taken, within seconds of each other, closer to the house. I believe the paw prints are rabbit prints, but please correct me if you know otherwise.
After I selected the photos, I made a discovery: they were all taken on the same day (Thursday)–the clouds cleared 40 minutes after the first photo was taken. Now if that isn’t a reason to be optimistic I don’t know what is.
I saw a rare sight today–it looked like a piece of rainbow descending from the clouds. My photo didn’t quite capture the rainbow effect–so please enhance it with your imagination. I wrote a few haiku to record my experience.
Winter clouds shiver, Sudden rainbow rays of light kiss yearning branches.
Rainbow streak descends, cuts blue skyway between clouds, Barren trees reach up.
Refracted light shoots, past layers of grey-brushed cotton, An afternoon smile.
This week, share a photo of something marked by its weight — or its air of weightlessness. Show us gravity at its most unforgiving, or most generous.
Nature cooperated on Monday night by providing a flash freeze after heavy rainfall, and a snow flurry on Tuesday morning. The first two photos show feathery snowflakes falling from the sky, and the third photo shows what happened when the weight of my boot contacted the fresh ice–not strong enough for skating!