Walks and Thoughts on Snow

Other than the extreme winter I experienced in Chicago, this is the lowest temperature that I ever witnessed here. It is hard to make belief to my tropical friends that the temperature actually went down to 1 degree Fahrenheit (Celsius 17 subzero) a couple of days ago. Snow came down 6 days ago and I have not touched my car key since. One day after the snow, there were 259 car accidents in Eugene according to Register-Guard. Eugene people love snow but are not experienced enough to deal with it.

cotton call or shred ice, your call

The temperature has been so low, that the one feet snow accumulated in one day is still there.  I love to see snow when I open the window blind in the morning, the whole white world is so wildly beautiful.

It was sunny and gorgeous outside. The freezing chill kept me home, but my mind was wandering and my heart finally made the call – I must go out and shoot a few pictures. The problem is, I don’t dare to drive on heavy snow. I have wrecked my car twice due to a lack of experience steering the wheels on snow and my memory of a recent deadly-turn-magically car accident is still fresh. So, I thought about my super chauffeur, my husband.

Of course, I made a sound suggestion to do a grocery run and by the way, shoot a few. Unless the Ducks football game is on, he always said YES. I cheer for Ducks but they are my enemies, too, on this note, LOL.
Costco traffic is unbelievably light.  It is a good time to shop while most people would rather stay warm inside the house. By the time when the snow starts to melt, the streets will be icy and messy. Housewives will swarm out after being bonded at home for the entire week and when the refrigerator is getting empty. I had a good rationale to convince my husband to take me out even though you know what’s at the bottom of my heart….. a photo walk on snow, hooray!
shaky in the cold
He certainly has a big heart. He not only replenished all our bird feeders, but he also brought the hummingbird feeders in every night to thaw and put them out before he goes to work in the morning. I watched him bring in the feeder 3-to 4 times during the weekend. Birds certainly know where to go. Many are around in this last week.It was cold and dark, I saw this hummingbird stationed on the limb for a while, I believe, to declare his territory. The shot was taken from inside the house and from distance.  The image is not very sharp, but can you see the hummingbird’s fluffy feather? We add layers of clothing and put on a heavy jacket, and so do they. They beef up their feather to preserve the heat.

beef up to fight the chill

It makes me feel good seeing goldfinches bathing in the sun and doing the same as hummingbirds. The expansion of its feather makes it look like an egg.  Birds have natural weathering apparel and we use the same material for our warm clothes and comforters. Interesting, isn’t it?  I know I have a reason to like birds.

Ever since I had a close shot of herons in Taiwan, I have seen herons in Ridgefield, in Portland in closer range and I actually saw 3 herons in Eugene Delta Ponds a couple of days ago.   This guy stood on snow and I liked its back-lit silhouette. I could not see them closer earlier and now they are everywhere. I think herons are now making peace with me after I witnessed its criminal act in Taiwan.

He is now my friend
If you ask me how cold is it for the temperature to be subzero 12-17 degrees Fahrenheit, see it yourself. It is crystal clear, it is solid and I had a cold chill just looking at it.  I  had my snow pants on, heavier dow jacket on, plus all the warm accessories, but my fingers were still frozen, and so were my feet. I know if I stay outside all night, I would turn into an ice pillar. period. There are now ice hotels in Quebec and Norway, as far as I know. I cannot begin to imagine how people get the pleasure of being refrigerated in a hotel where comfort should be the priority.

Ice Jaw

Are we having such a good life that we have to torture ourselves every once in a while in order to remember what misery is like and can appreciate more what we have now?

Below is the processed compost pile at Lane Forest Products.  I saw the pile steaming on cold days when I drove by. Wanting to take a picture,  but there is no place to pull over. Now I am on the passenger side and the pile is covered with snow, even more interesting.  Suddenly a compost pile turns into a smoky mountain.

It is OK to dream
When our car stopped at the traffic light, I spotted these roses from distance. Out of curiosity, I took a quick shot. Pondering how come there are still colorful roses this time of the year and how can they stay erected on snow…When the picture is downloaded and brought close. I realized they are plastic roses and stems. But they look pretty on snow, does it matter if it is real or artificial as long as it is pleasing to our eyes?

Do you feel better when you spend more on something and think it has to be better because it is more expensive? I say, let’s not be the victim of marketing. As a matter of fact, when the flowers look too perfect, we would start to doubt their authenticity.  It is like math, like science. When the end is reached, it goes back to a new beginning.

true or false, who cares

Now I mention the above picture is taken from a compost pile, do you still enjoy the same? Simple pleasure can readily be accessible if our state of mind is not in the way. I have seen a note on a porcelain piece: “I smile because I have no idea what’s going on.”  

Below is a reflection shot of trees, snow, ice, and a pond. All are as real as they can be, but I felt the original shot was too overly pronounced, too exposed, and too overwhelmed with dropped tree limbs, a thick snow pack, and a big sheet of ice. I
like the scene, but I want it simpler in order that I can enjoy it more, and not be distracted.
Bottom Line – Peace in Mind

By using a plug-in that I recently purchased, I was able to make it a semi-sepia tone and fade out lots of clutters.  If I need to come up with a new year resolution for 2014, I would say, ‘Simplicity’, and that’s exactly what I addressed when I started this blog back in January.

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