Ice thaws and water starts to flow again. The sun warms the side of a building. Winter ends and spring begins.
(This photo was taken at Oliver Winery.)
Just reminiscing about a winter when there was actually ICE! This year I forgot what it looked like.
A nice cold day to stay in, curl up by a fire, eat chocolate and drink wine, and enjoy family and friends.
Winter snow crept in overnight and laid down a downy, white blanket. It left no path, no clear-cut way for me to remove it’s covering from my car so I could go to work. The one-lane road was equally covered. Trapped, I turned back inside, heated up some hot chocolate, and settled down with a good book. Tomorrow, I said.
I haven’t been posting photos to 365 Days Journey Through the Past for the last couple of days because I’m rather discouraged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m on track. I’ve been adding them to my Flickr account and at the end of the month they will be included in the monthly wrap-up, but right now I can’t help but wonder, what’s the point? I can tell that in the past during January I wasn’t really inspired and under other circumstances the photos would remain filed away on my computer because they really aren’t that good.
Part of my problem right now is that I don’t know what direction I want to go with photography; nature? people? animals? urban? other???? I love cemeteries and have tons of cemetery photos. I also love urban decay and have done some fun things with that. But I’m not inspired by either one right now. I want to include a human element to my photos, also—I had a lot of fun photographing my friend’s children!—but I’m still rather reticent to ask strangers if I can photograph them. I think I need an infusion of newness. I love Indianapolis, but I’ve been here too long without a change of scenery! I need a vacation!
Anyway, it snowed FINALLY and the snow is still on the ground so I thought I’d go to Holliday Park and see what I could find. At first it was the same stuff as always. I live a few blocks from Holliday Park so I go there a lot. Then I went into the Nature Center and sat watching the birds and squirrels through the one-way window. I lifted the camera to my eye and before I knew it, I got lost taking photos. Enjoy!
I used my 55-250mm zoom lens. I set the white balance for cloudy, which worked well outside. When I went inside the Nature Center and shot through the windows, I assumed I should keep it at cloudy. But, nope, when I color corrected in camera RAW, I learned I should have set the white balance to fluorescent. I’ll have to read up on why the indoor lighting superseded the outdoor lighting when my subjects were outside. Hmmmmm…..
UPDATE: I pondered this over the course of the day and came to the conclusion that the actual light hitting the camera sensor was from inside the building, not the outside light, and therefore need to take into consideration the indoor light situation. That is my conclusion at this point, but I’m still going to look into it.
Winter. Snow. White. Cold. Words that symbolize this time of year. A park bench covered in winter snow; red ribbons reminiscent of the season. It seduces the imagination and speaks of what winter should be. I should leave it at that.
But I won’t. Six years later…today…I look out my window at the warm sun. Morning temperature is 40° and will continue to rise. This winter season has been unseasonably warm and even though my body (and my electric bill!) loves it, I miss the beauty of winter. I miss the beauty of snow. I am concerned about how this will affect the upcoming spring and summer. How will the land respond? How will the crops fare? Will our insect population explode? What does this mean? I hope that in the next couple of weeks our winter will shape up and be what it is supposed to be.
But until then, I have this photo to remind me of what winter once looked like.
I have a certain lust for spontaneously going on short trips. One day, a couple years ago, I left to get milk and eggs and ended up in St. Louis, MO where I attended a Catholic Mass at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis (I’m not Catholic. It was beautiful). That was the first trip. Since then, I have found myself doing over-nighters in Paris, Tennessee (where a college friend was visiting one weekend) and Lexington, Kentucky, where I discovered the Bourbon Trail and enjoyed my first tour of a distillery—Woodford Reserve. Just this past summer I wound up at Maker’s Mark. All these destinations were not planned. I got in my car and took off.
My son, Josh, asked me just recently if he could go with me next time so for his birthday, I asked him, “What direction do you want to go?”
“Towards Nashville or Knoxville?” I needed to know if we were to take I65 or I74.
We left the day it snowed in Indianapolis, where visibility at times was just a few feet in front of us. But we were headed south so I figured we would eventually leave the snow behind and we did. All the way down we wondered what we would do in Nashville. Neither one of us have any country music leanings. I mentioned Johnny Cash and Josh confused him with Willie Nelson. I could only think of “A Boy Named Sue” and then later “I Walked the Line.” I said, “At least if anyone asks, we can say we’ve been to Opryland.” I don’t know why that’s important. No one has asked me that yet.
Josh works 3rd shift so by the time we got to Nashville and checked into Fiddler’s Inn, a motel on Music Valley Drive and just minutes from Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center (Opryland), he had been up almost 24 hours. Instead of going out, he zonked out and I was tired from the drive so I stayed in reading brochures and whatnot, wondering what we would do the next day. The best I could come up with was to go to Opryland and wander through their nine acres of botanical gardens. Yeah. Sure. A 23 year old young man would just love to do that for his birthday.
The next day, with a “whatever” shrug from Josh, we drove around the area with Opryland itself being the final destination. We never made it. I suggested we tackle Willie Nelson and Friends first since we were driving by. If we liked it well enough to return, we would. Across the upper facade of the store are numerous country singers and, frankly, I had no idea who any were except two:
Then, once inside, all the country, redneck, hillbilly-type stuff just did me in. Did my son in, also. I took this photo of an oversized poster of Willie Nelson that hung gloriously on one of the walls and after a few minutes, my son and I left.
We drove around Opryland all the while discussing how wrong it was that we were in country music territory since we didn’t like country music. We looked at each other, shook our heads, waved goodbye to Opryland, and drove away.
We fled the country trappings of Nashville to the hide in the caves of Kentucky.
If you want to experience Mammoth Caves themselves, then definitely go in the winter when your tour size is only 21 people rather than 125. If you want to experience the beautiful scenery with the caves being secondary, then go in summer/fall. I’m glad we went in the winter since our first priority were the caves. We got there an hour early for the tour we wanted (the historical tour) so we went wandering down some of the trails. This is Josh looking out over a scenic view.
I tried to get photos of the view itself but with the trees so forlorn and brown/gray there was no contrast to represent depth. Don’t get me wrong, I took photos and I have tried to punch up the contrast and colors in Photoshop, but there really wasn’t anything to work with so I gave up. Josh and I kept saying, “This place would be gorgeous in the summer or the fall” so we wandered around envisioning all the colorful leaves on the trees and relishing the warmth of our thoughts.
One of the trails goes to a cemetery. It’s a small cemetery and I wandered around it while Josh stayed at the other end reading the stories of those buried there.
Josh and I both consider ourselves winter hardy, but I was wearing a sweater and scarf and he was wearing a fleece jacket, totally unprepared for the below freezing temperatures. We headed back to the tour center where we warmed up just in time for the tour.
With it still close to the holidays, the Christmas tree they set up in the rotunda part of the cave was still there. I knew the light situation deeper in the cave would not be good for photography, so I captured this photo. I was using a 50mm 1.8 prime and on-camera flash.
Josh and I loved Mammoth Caves. It was perfect for his birthday. He was able to get away from Indiana and from work, visit a couple of different States, get a bizarre sense of country music, and wander through caves where he felt perfectly at home. And I loved it for almost the same reasons (though I’m not perfectly at home in a cave). I think a little mother/son bonding was nice, also.
I spent cold days in January looking out windows. For three years I lived in a two-story bungalow in the trashy part of Irvington (a subdivision of Indianapolis). And although the neighborhood offered up frightening experiences, the view from the windows always comforted me. I watched steam from my neighbor’s chimney rise into the cold, evening air, teasing the moon with puffy, tender touches. This view is from the bathroom window, the room where the tub could at any moment fall through the floor down into the living area. The winter view compelled me. In spite of the horrors of that neighborhood, I discovered snatches of beauty. Wherever one goes, beauty exists.
I loved looking out the bedroom window of my charming Irvington antique home, especially in the winter when the inside of the window frosted up just as wildly as the outside and made the whole world beautifully abstract.
May your life be equally as beautiful and as wild and as abstract! Happy 2012.
I wander lost in thought along a trail in a cold, leafless wood when I’m caught by the glistening snow of this frozen side path. The snow slowly melts around the edges, dampening the clotted leaves around and under it. I could almost hear the crunch of the upper crust as I mentally trudge down it to see what lies beyond the bright woods ahead. In spite of the intrigue, though, I don’t follow this snowy path on this cold day. My journey is elsewhere.
Paths are journeys waiting to happen. I look into the distance and wonder what is around the bend. Is this a journey I want to take? Is this a mystery I want to uncover? I have a fascination with paths because of the unknown, the mystery, the possibility that exists at its end. But I also love paths because of the journey itself. And some paths are not meant to be taken. This path is one of those.
(I do love paths and roads. I have a Flickr set devoted to it. Please check it out: “Pathways, Roads, and Just Around the Bend.”
Ahhh. Be careful what you wish for. This morning I woke up to snow on the ground. I feel much better. As much as I like warm weather, I get nervous when the season really should have snow.
That being said, this photo is where I used to live in Irvington (subdivision of Indianapolis). It was my first “home” after my divorce and it has…interesting…memories. The landlord was really a slumlord and I could tell you stories of robberies, guns, police, and drugs, of holes in ceilings, holes in the roof, ghostly basements and fires. But I could also tell you stories of five newborn kittens, the nostalgic rumble of trains passing within feet of the property, having friends over, and the first taste of freedom being on my own. And perhaps someday I will as I uncover more photos of this place.
On this day in 2009, the snow entranced me. I shuffled through the white blanket to relish the transformation of the property from winter grunge to winter quiet. I am standing in a weed-filled section with the train tracks right on my heels looking back at the house that I called home. In spite of all the horrors surrounding this house, including the house itself, I have fond memories of this place.
How delicious! One morning back in 2009 on a cold, snowy day I went walking through my Irvington neighborhood and discovered the neighbors had hung apples and oranges from an evergreen tree. It was beautiful and fresh, just like the snow that day.
Today, when I look out the window, I see gray skies and dark, wet pavement. No snow. Not yet. Will we see it this year? Before the turn of the calendar? I have never longed for snow like I do now.
My sons and I did a lot of walking, even in the winter. I loved how the sun caught the snow and made it sparkle and how my boys trudged through the snow to make a path for me. They’re in their 20′s now, making their own paths.
I had upgraded from a Canon PowerShot A75 to a Canon PowerShot S2 IS by this time (2005). I was thrilled with my camera. It was bigger and more substantial than the little pocket camera AND it had manual controls! I was still working on understanding how to make a good photograph, though. My camera saw all that white snow and compensated for it so the original photo is…well…grayish. I used curves in Photoshop to regain the whiteness. I’m still working through my snow issues, though. Unfortunately, today (2011) there has been no snow this year. I miss it.