I miss snow. I don't know if I miss anything else about any other place I've lived, but I miss snow. So we went to find it.
It was an intensely painful experience - about an eighth of the way into the hike, I got a severe leg cramp, as well as that disturbing involuntary-muscle-shaking feeling. Given a) my utter lack of any sense of direction, and b) being with other people, kept going. Didn't think it was worth it at the time, but already the scenery is brighter and clearer in my mind than the pain. Some nice photos, though most of these were actually taken much, much later, after a long rest inside a police car (long story, the moral of which is that leg cramps can be more trouble than you could possibly imagine!) had at least obviated the shaking enough to where I could use a camera without motion-blur.
So suppose you live in mellow-rain-all-year-round Seattle, but you're desperately homesick for snow. Where do you go? Up! That's not light/shadow on the mountain; it's yesterday night's snowfall, fallen new, unblurred by melting or winddrift. I was very amused by how knifesharp the snowline was - you could see where individual trees had snow at the top but not the bottom.
Up into the mountains. Wow. Shrouds in shadows and silver.
Coming home, a place I've never been. All the tiny details were right - the cold/metal scent of snow, the rustle and crunch of it, the way silver-gilt tree branches claw at the sky. All except those glorious mountains; those are new. I think I like them.
Silliness. A Dr. Suess character, perhaps, with a five-pointed green hairdo, spindly arms, lumpy body, and a crooked smile.
I found what I was looking for, three thousand miles away from where I left it. Bird tracks, even, stretched hoppy song birds following the dusting of pine seeds, and some larger scavenger poking through slowly.
Perhaps I would wave a wand and turn a few conifers to slim, pale birches... but then again, perhaps not. Seattle is my home, too.
This image reminds me a great deal of a classic japanese sumi-e inkpainted landscape. Foreground dark, midground gray, background white. Balanced composition and color and details, especially the jagged branch overhead.
Pine trees and a partially-frozen river, all icymuttery and susurrant. I put my hands into the water, and found it only faintly cool, despite the fact that it was frozen in places. Odd.
And, as always, that one picture I can't bear to shrink too much. Ice-river again, but taken looking upstream from one of the snowy rocks.