As Chris and I drove around country near Steinbach the hoar frost “held” for about an hour or two after we headed out. To me the most important part of hoar frost is their ephemeral beauty.
As soon as the temperature of the air reaches a high enough temperature the hoar frost will melt and disappear. Or if it gets windy the wind can blow the hoar frost off the branches. If you want to photograph it, you must move quickly.
Beauty is always temporary. What a pity. But beauty always returns. And I never get enough. We took a number of photographs and celebrated the beauty we captured so briefly. We had no need to travel to Arizona to find beauty.
When the sunset begins I call it a whisper sunset. You just see a pale blush of sun if you look to the east or at least away from the sun.
At Buffalo Point for the New Year’s weekend I found employment of a sort. Henry David Thoreau, one of my heroes, claimed to be an inspector of snow storms when he lived at Walden Pond. That never appealed to me much but being an inspector of sunsets that was more like it.
So, I took up a self-appointed position as the inspector of sunsets. The sunset today was pretty good too. I particularly like sunsets in winter when trees are reduced to their essential elements.
One thing I learned many years ago I think it was from Jim Peters or Dennis Fast at a photography workshop was that the best sunset photos don’t have the sun in them. The sun usually turns into a yellow blob in photos. Best, usually, to keep it out of sight but look at its magnificent handywork.
Winter in Canada is filled with awesome beauty. You pay a high price to see it, but it is awesome beauty. Too often those of us who live in northern climes are so focused on the coldness of the winter that we miss its beauty. That is serious negligence.
Since I was stuck here for the winter I did resolve to enjoy it this year as best I could. I wanted to draw in to me the beauty of winter and silence.
The American writer, Jack Kerouac said, “I got all my boyhood in vanilla winter waves around the kitchen stove.” A vanilla winter. How fitting. My favorite flavor joined to winter. That is a good way to think of winter. Even when sitting indoors.