“Mini-Snowmen of the Woods” by Robin Conover
Canon EOS 20D, 70-200 mm , 2.8 L series lens, hand held,
ISO 100, ƒ5.0 at 1/400 sec.
It’s rare that a good snow sticks around for long in Middle Tennessee. When one does, that’s the time to get outside for few hours of sledding, building snowmen, hiking or photographing winter.
Snow-covered landscapes look and sound different. The monochromatic palette begs you to look at things differently. Shapes are outlined and simplified with a coat of winter white. Shades of gray, black and white dominate and, at the same time, simplify our visual environment.
Sound carries differently, too. With each footstep there’s a muffled crunch. The songs of birds seem to carry more crisply and loudly than normal. The sounds of the landscape are clearer; perhaps the cold sharpens the senses.
The holiday season itself helps us focus on what is important — spending more time with friends and family and less time in all the noise of day-to-day responsibilities.
Instead of shopping excessively this year and only adding to the clutter and noise, I’ve decided to simplify the season to focus on giving — not on giving things but on giving time. Giving of one’s self is often much more rewarding and valuable than anything you could buy.
If the weather cooperates, I plan to spend this holiday season on winter hikes with friends, building mini-snowmen like the two I ran across and captured in the photo above, volunteering a few hours to help others and spending as much time as I can with family.