Despite the obvious upside of a milder and shorter winter (warmth comes to mind) the lack of snow has resulted in fewer options in the area for capturing those typical winter landscape photos. Normally we also have birds and animals coming into the yard daily in search of food but again wildlife have been thriving in the woods and wetlands without needing to go out in search of food. So, when the normal isn’t there, one needs to go out in search of those special places and subjects. We walk by them every day and usually do so without giving them notice. So in a way, the adversity is actually a good thing as it opens one’s eyes and brings on the creativity.
So it was on a February afternoon when record high temperatures were reached and what snow that was left was quickly melting away that Millie (loving Golden Retriever) and I went for a walk at Brophy Park. We started out on our usual contour around the rising hills but veered off of the normal path towards a small pond. Melt water had already flowed onto and covered the ice and the wooded background reflected wonderfully in the afternoon light. To really capture the essence of the wetland scene, enhance the warm light and gather in the reflections I had to get right down into the melting snow. Millie seemed to think that was pretty special as well and showed it by using her tail to flip cold ice crystals on my face. Similarly, as we walked a little further onto the ice of North Union Lake it was sparse going for awhile. Then I came across the arching reeds. They immediately grabbed my attention and stirred a little creativity from within. Once I had settled on the desired angle and background I stretched out on the cold ice crystals to set up for the shot. I was happy to see that those golden arches were pretty amazing as they cast a warm glow against the distant wooded shoreline and the deep blue sky. A few shots and I was up wiping off the cold and wet crystals. Yes, Millie was enjoying the moment. We moved a little more quickly after that, snapped a few more shots and then headed home for some warm and dry clothes. I was inspired though. The set of circumstances offered that afternoon were like spring beckoning with golden opportunities for new creation. It all reminded me of a post I’d written a few years ago, “Those shots are all around us. We just need to take our time, look at everything around us, change our perspective and be creative.” Gosh! I can’t wait to get back out there again.