Monday, January 31, 2011
Brrrr. Zero this morning. But with a dusting of soft new snow glittering under a clear blue sky, the day definitely called me to come outdoors. I decided to try a snowshoe hike in the wooded hills above Spier Falls Dam, where little streams tumble down the mountainside, creating fantastic ice palaces out of the boulders. Here's a photo of one such creation I found last winter. Isn't it beautiful?
Unfortunately, those ice-covered boulders lie high up on the mountainside, and I just couldn't get there today. The snow was simply too fluffy and deep. Or maybe it was because I am older and heavier than a year ago. How I wish I could have scampered across that snow like these little mice did.
But with every step, I plunged at least a foot deep. And sometimes, all the way up to my thigh. Or my toe would go in first, pointing down, and I would pitch forward and plant my face in the snow. Then the only way to get up was to literally roll around to pack the snow enough for me to regain a foothold. After about an hour of this, I grew too tired to continue and headed downhill.
But the day was not lost. I didn't get to see the ice palaces, but all around me the snow was glittering in the most exquisite way. It was truly sparkling like diamonds. And rubies and emeralds and sapphires and topazes, too. Once in a while, conditions are right to create this Technicolor snow, and today was that kind of day. Hard to capture in a photo. I doubt you can see the colorful specks in this mound of glittering snow.
I could see those colors with my naked eyes, and I thought my camera had not captured them, until I looked at the photos on my computer screen, and there they were. I have cropped a section out of the above photo and then boosted the saturation, the better to show those colors, glowing like tiny Christmas lights. Do click on this photo to get a closer view.
This beech leaf veiled with snow presents a subtler beauty of its own.