Winter at Canaan Valley

December 27, 2012

So you've arrived at your Christmas Vacation.  A time to relax, take a break from all of the craziness of the last couple weeks.  No ball games to worry about, the work is almost done for the year. Of course, being a photographer, I scouted the place when I got here.  The deer are photographer friendly, and some may even pose for you. 


And then the snow comes.  My plans for soaking in the hot tub have been interupted.  (I still soaked every night after shooting all day)  Actually, I was rather ecstatic that I could get a few days of exercise without having to pay my physical therapist!  Doing therapy this way is a whole lot more fun than visiting an office, and for those who have been following my recovery, this pushed my limits to the extreme, and gave me confidence that the recovery is doing what it is supposed to.  Every muscle in my body got a workout!


But I digress ... I decided to avoid the food and beverage snaps I saw my breakfast buffet companions sharing.  The slopes wouldn't open for three more days, so no photos from the slopes or sauna, just simple landscapes.  What do you see when it is 20 degrees and snowing with a strong wind trying to blow you over every step of the way?  I pretty much tried to stick with patterns and simple compositions, attempting to reduce each scene down to its essential elements.   ...   There was a cluster of trees I had spotted the night before that could tell the story of winter very well by themselves. 


As I said, patterns stick out this time of year




But then came along another view:


I think it's the first image that I have taken that shouts BLIZARD!  This was taken at mid-day, with snow flying in the 30 MPH breeze.  And you can feel the cold - heck, I just shivered uploading the image!  Now, all I had to do was get the car back to the road .... it only took two hours to go 50 feet. 

Then as I explored, I was reminded that life goes on, even when the temperatures fall and modern conveniences are most appreciated.  I wished that my insulation was as good as the cattle's, but as you can see, most of them are smart enough to stay close to home .... unlike thier photographer of the day!


The National Widelife Refuge is an essential part to Canaan Valley, and while I did see a flock flying overhead, I didn't spot any of the smaller birds while I was here


The trees which will soon bloom and bear fruit again are barren


and down the road, water continues to flow over Blackwater Falls



But make no mistake, the road to get there is not easy to travel


I guess putting it simply, winter photography is no picnic, but well worth the effort!


So get out there and shoot this winter, bring home some pictures you'll be proud to hang on your wall and be able to brag to your friends ... "Yeah, I did that!"