Category Archives: snow

Through His creation …

He speaks to me.

Who, you say?

Why Jesus, of course.

How, you ask?

By showing me what He sees through the eyes He sees them with.

And by allowing me to capture on film that which He chooses to show me.

Being a photographer is one of His greatest gifts to me and I don’t take His beauty lightly.

I am, in the space of time that I walk through the beauty of creation, one with that creation.

I am part of that which lives, thrives and survives.

I am His.

He reminds me every day of His love for me by showing me the wonders of the earth He created, of His beauty and, for whatever reason, He allows me to see it through His perfect eyes.  I am often blinded by life, by moments, by disappointments and disillusionment, but He reminds me, every single day, that I am His.

Through the fragrant blooms of springtime that make their way even while winter tries to force his hand.  They are strong and resilient, those blooms.  Strong-willed and fearless as they burst forth with courage and strength.

The Creator's fragrant palette

The Creator’s fragrant palette

Through the fireflies of summer, which frolic beneath a summer moon and compete with the magnificence of the stars.  They blink and fade, wander and mesmerize, bringing magic and comfort and the promise of something wonderful.

Like a moth to a flame, so the fireflies are drawn to the moon of summer.

Like a moth to a flame, so the fireflies are drawn to the moon of summer.

Through the colorful leaves that adorn the trees that catch my eye, the smell of decay on the ground mixed with the subtle scent of of beauty that can only be felt in the heart.  The joyous chatter of the brilliance of fall as it rains down on forgotten paths and leaves the mind reeling with possibilities.

the beauty and mystery of fallen leaves

the beauty and mystery of fallen leaves

Through the winter, the cold air and frigid temperatures that can freeze a waterfall in her tracks, making her song one of unrivaled silence as her beauty emanates praise and thanksgiving.

The magnificent song of Winter silence

The magnificent song of Winter silence

Creation, frozen in time, for a time, for a season

Creation, frozen in time, for a time, for a season

A bubbling creek becomes suspended in something, motionless and full of such magic that only the heart can understand it.  Some things are  so rare, so precious, so full of beauty that nothing is left but to offer praise.

Rocks, suspended in silence, yet singing their winter song

Rocks, suspended in silence, yet singing their winter song

Winter speaks with a strong voice even when it is silent

Winter speaks with a strong voice even when it is silent

Seeing it, immersing myself in it, becoming a part of it reminds me that I, too am, a child of the creator.

A beautiful view of a snowy Clinch Mountain ... one that I call home

A beautiful view of a snowy Clinch Mountain … one that I call home

My cup runneth over.

His beauty unfolds before me in the misty rain of barren landscapes, foggy sunrises behind mountains and beneath a black sky glittering with stars.

without rain, there can be no rainbow

without rain, there can be no rainbow

From my front porch

From my front porch

I am blessed and, when I forget that, He reminds me with His magnificence.

From my driveway, I am reminded that i am worth His magnificence.

From my driveway, I am reminded that i am worth His magnificence.

I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence:  Two road diverged in a wood, and I — I took the ones less traveled by, And that has mad all the difference ~ Robert Frost

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Even if I have to steal it …

I’m getting a jeep.

Ok, so that was a bit of an exaggeration.

I don’t steal things, especially vehicles.

Well, especially doesn’t really count when I don’t steal things.  There really isn’t an especially in such circumstances is there?

I need a Jeep so that I can get to my beloved waterfall through the worst winter weather.  The road is currently under several inches of well-packed snow that my sweet little front-wheel drive, she’s-been-a-good-car-though, PT Cruiser convertible just couldn’t go.

(note:  the convertible top was NOT down).

Grand theft auto would land me in the stoney lonesome and it would be quite some time before I could see over the barbed-wire lined wall, much less drive the winding, mountain roads that bring me such pleasure.

But today, when I arrived nearly to the falls, I found that my little cruiser wasn’t up for the task.  She tried, but there is a limit to her magnificence.

I did what I always do when my hopes are shattered by unforeseen circumstances and that which I long so desperately for is unattainable.

I cry.

It isn’t that I’m a baby, on the contrary, I’m pretty tough.

I seem, however, to have little control over my tear ducts.

They are betrayers of the worst kind and often decide to show themselves at the most inopportune times.

So I didn’t get to the falls today.

If the weatherman is worth his weight in hair gel, though, there will me many other opportunities.  According to him, who hits the nail on the head about 20% of the time, the low temps in February are going to be as cold, if not colder, than January.

Now I don’t expect to have my Jeep by then, but my dad has a truck … and he likes me.

Even though I didn’t get to see the magnificence of the falls that I am certain had to be frozen, I did get some nice shots of a mostly frozen, snow-covered creek full of lovely rocks.

I just love rocks.

Take rocks, put them in water, freeze it and add some snow … well, it helped take the sting out of not being able to reach the falls today.

Caution:  shameless self promotion – click on the photographs for some sweet Valentine’s Cay cards from Through the Eyes of the Spirit (aka:  me)

A snowy creeksnowyrocks_jan2014-53

Rocks in their Winter attire.snowyrocks_jan2014-44

The Magic of Winter.snowyrocks_jan2014-42

Beneath the Ice.snowyrocks_jan2014-32

As always, thanks for following along and remember,  be who you are because nobody does it better.

If it isn’t going to snow …

and snow BIG, then I am officially done with winter.  I am filled to overflowing with frosty windshields in the early, still dark mornings.  I am finished with the cold wind whistling through trees that have been bare for too long.  Winter weather advisories that never come to fruition and the forecasters who get my hopes up are now on my short list.

snowfall

Since I love lists so much, it is time to make a new one; a warm weather one.  This new and improved list will not include heavy winter coats, gloves or scarves.  It won’t include three layers of clothes or multiple pairs of socks worn under fur-lined boots.  It also won’t include walking home because the ice is too thick to drive in.

basset_snow

I was recently reminded by a friend that boating season is just around the corner.  It took less than two seconds for the image of skimming across the lake with the sun hot on my skin and the wind in my face to fill my warmth starved brain.  I foresee cold drinks and much laughter as we frolic in the lake.  Actually, I suppose I should clarify; I foresee much laughter as THEY frolic in the lake as I’m not really box-ankled about jumping into water that I can’t see through.  I’m more of a “float-on-the-top” kind of gal.

cherokeelake

cherokeelakejumper

I look at my pale, winter skin and think of sunning myself like a lizard and admiring my tan lines (after the redness fades).  I love the sun and, unlike many people I know, don’t mind the 90 plus temperatures of a steamy Appalachian summer.  I long for the thunderstorms that come out of nowhere, bringing with them the stunning display of lightning and sky that only God can provide.

lightning

I look forward to long hikes along shaded trails and wading in the clear, cold pool at the foot of my favorite waterfall; speeding with the top down over curvy mountain roads to get there.  My sister’s pool with the shimmering water and full-sized slide call to me like a siren’s song.  Trips to the ocean and embracing the sunrise in the wee hours then sipping boat drinks at sunset will find their place at the top of my list.

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littlestoney_020913-161

beachday1 542

Yes, I am officially done with winter and realize as I write this post and compose my list that I am going to need more paper.   Now, if I can only get Mother Nature to cooperate, all will be well with the world and I can stop shivering.

gulfbeauty

There is something about snow-sledding …

that never gets old.  It takes me back to my childhood and brings great memories to mind and at the same time, lets me know that I’ve still got it.  Last weekend, my nieces, brother and friends were sledding on the best sledding hill in Scott County.  They had been on the hill the day before, so the snow was packed and slick, as it should be for an incredible sledding experience.

My niece, for whatever reason, wanted to ride with me down the hill on one of the runs.  Being that she is small (at seven years old) and I am not, I was a bit apprehensive that she would be  hurt were we to have a wreck.  But nothing else would do her, so away we went.

Nearly three quarters of the way down, we were lucky enough to hit a dip that caused us to go airborne.  While that would usually be a good thing, Sophie’s safety was my primary goal.  I had my legs around her and put my hiker thighs to work to keep her intact.  There was no way that kid was going anywhere.

We did go airborne.  And while airborne, we did a full 360, then bounced and continued on down the hill.  At some point, Sophie said to me “Nini, you are crushing my lungs”.  It didn’t matter.   At the end of the ride, even though we had an awesome wipe-out, she was secure within the confines of the inner tube we were riding on.  No injuries were reported and there was much congratulating and high-fiving between herself and me after the ride was over.

She said to me as we prepared to go again “Nini, I love you, but you almost crushed me with your legs and my mom would be upset if you had killed me”.  LOLOL … this amused me as she is only seven (six at the time of the ride) and had enough sense to know that sometimes, I go overboard in the protection department.  She didn’t however, fall off because she was caught in a vice grip.  How much fun that was.  I only hope we have the chance to sled down the hill again; next time though, I will  try not to hold her so tightly that she feels like she’s being murdered.  Now, all we have to do is wait on more snow.  Some things just never get old.  Sledding is one of them.

sophie

As a photographer …

flolicking

days like today are off the charts on the  list of experiences that I don’t want to miss.  It was simply my good fortune that the company I work for decided to open on a delayed schedule, giving me two extra hours.  Two extra hours on a bright, sunny, blue-skied morning that followed on the heels of a big, heavy snow.  As I look out my windows, I see that overnight, the entire world has been turned into a painting and I, being mortal, have it in my mind that I’m going to try to capture it; freeze it as it looks to me.  Hoping to do it justice.

I know when I’ve nailed a shot.  I don’t know a photographer who doesn’t.  Ansel Adams was quoted as saying “Sometimes I get there just at the moment God wants someone to click the shutter”.  He knew. That moment the shutter snaps, I am without doubt that even if nothing else I have shot the entire day satisfies me, this one shot will make every minute worth it.

basset_snow

There isn’t always “that shot”, though.  Some days, there is a handful of mediocre photographs and nothing that stands out.  There isn’t that one; the image that is full of words and in the words within the image, beauty.  That’s what I strive for, what I aspire to do; at times, it is all I can think about.   If only there was more time.

snowfall

This day, the epitome of a winter morning, the kind of day I fantasize about; today, pure and simply, leaves me speechless.  Let the images speak for themselves.

bluesky_jansnow

A snow day …

doesn’t mean any less to me now than when I was kid finding out that school was out for snow, again.  While I could sleep in for a while, I was digging, instead, through my toboggans and gloves, finding a coat and locating my boots.  I knew, without even looking, that my friends were already gathering at the sledding hill.

The hill was very big and very steep and rather rocky in places.  It made for an interesting ride to the bottom on a sled, a plastic bag or an old tire.  Before long, the neighborhood moms and dads would build a bonfire and start the process of making gallons of hot chocolate.  Some with marshmallows, but as far as I’m concerned, there is no better way to ruin a good cup of hot chocolate than putting marshmallows in it.

Afterwards, when we were all frozen to the bone and caked with snow and ice, we’d head home, discard our wet clothes and stand in front of the wood-burning stove to warm up.  The smell of mom’s homemade stew would be thick in the air and life, at that moment, couldn’t possibly be any better.

It was a rarity, in the elementary school years, to go to school the entire month of January.  During January, that was a wonderful thing, as there is nothing quite so wonderful as finding out school is closed due to snow.  The wonderful part came to a halting stop soon enough, though.  In the spring, when the trees were budding and the weekend weather was perfect for riding bikes, skating and just being outdoors, the repercussions came.  School on Saturday.

What better way to torture a kid than to make them go to school on Saturday. I still have flashbacks of being in the classroom before eight am with a teacher who would rather be sticking needles in their eyes than to be there with us.  It was, after all, their Saturday, too.  It was bad, but not bad enough to regret the snow days.  Those are memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  I’ve just now come from outside where I held my face Heavenward and let the snowflakes fall on my tongue.  Being a grown up doesn’t change a thing; I still love a snow day.

flolicking