Monday, January 31, 2011

Technicolor Snow

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.


10 comments:

Louise said...

That snow was a real find. Though, I don't know if it was worth a couple of face plants to get it. Looks like you're going to get hit by this storm, too. I'm interested to see how much snow we actually do get.

suep said...

whew ! Glad I'm not alone when I see colors in the snowflakes ...
figured it was a trick of the polarized glasses.
Amazing that you got a photo of such a phenomenon...

Makes you realize that we are just showered on with beauty every time it snows.

(OK-- talk to me tomorrow after we get that predicted 18 inches of "beauty" !!)

Dan said...

It's fun reading about your outdoor adventures Jackie. Cool shots of the snow! Your MSR snowshoes look light, and fast. Maybe they're best for moving on a few inches of snow. A pair with a larger 'deck' might give you better float on top of the deep snow. Bonnie, and I both have the wider type, slower moving snowshoes. Let us know if you want to borrow a pair.

tintin said...

The photo of the beech leaf is exquisite.

June said...

The snow recently has been just right for those diamond sparkles. They are magic jewels.
I would never have thought a camera could catch that, and I am so glad yours did!

Woodswalker said...

Face plants are no big deal, Louise, especially when the snow is soft and light. It was actually kind of fun to roll around in it. But no fun trying to walk in it. Huff Puff!

So you've noticed this jewel-toned snow too, Sue. So beautiful! I'm not quite sure what the conditions have to be to create it, though.

Hi Dan, you're right about my snowshoes being too sleek for deep soft snow. I have some wider ones I guess I'll have to haul down from the attic if I want to bushwhack this winter.

Thanks, tintin. I thought it was beautiful too.

Hi June, thanks for your comment. I wonder what the heaps of new snow we're supposed to get tomorrow will be like. Every snowfall seems to be different.

catharus said...

Amazing -- those sparkles of colors in the snow!! That's a new one for me! Thanks!

Rain said...

Beautiful photos! I love how the snow glistens in colour!!! Oh gosh, I hope you didn't hurt yourself with the face plant. I've done that too this winter, the toe goes in first and before you know it, you're eating snow!!!

Jackie C said...

Oh my gosh! That technicolor snow is amazing! I never dreamed! Beautiful!

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

I would just like to take the time and thank you for sharing all your lovely walks, in pictures and words, it certainly is a wonderland.
Walking in the woods up and down dales is my life line, so to see your country side and pictures of your explorations is a real treat.