Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Eclipse of the Heart

The days are getting longer. I am reminded of that in little ways such as the late-afternoon sun streaking across my living room wall, as it creeps into view through the north-facing window. It's usually late February or early March before I notice how it brightens the room after the long, dull winter, just like I become aware of the tiny tufts of green grass which begin to appear in April.

It's been a nice winter for many reasons. The temperature hasn't plummeted to overly-uncomfortable levels too often, or for too long. The snow, although a fair bit of work to shovel, has been plentiful and refreshing during an otherwise dreary season. It also began late. Summer lingered well into October this past year, and autumn and winter followed in due course. For the first time since I was a child, winter has actually been pleasant. The main reason for this unexpected pleasure is my camera.

Most anywhere I look, there's a photograph. In my mind's eye, a bird at the feeder, the sun reflecting on the frozen lake, the moon-lit snow and fluffy flakes captured in mid-descent all appear to come into focus inside of their own frames. Icy paths have become less bothersome to navigate, and instead assist to reflect the light just right. Piles of snow create a temporary newness to the landscape. I'm no longer just seeing the mercury as a reliable measure of the day's potential. The season does not feel endless. It simply feels like a welcomed part of our passage to the next one - a period to which I have to admit I'm also looking forward.

I've spent so many years disliking winter and hiding from it, much like a creature in hibernation. In some manner, it feels as if I'm emerging from a darkness of sorts. This year, that shadow of concealment has slipped aside to expose a spectator with a rediscovered appreciation for the fullness of the season.

Much like last night's lunar eclipse, I feel that I am both a part of it and witness to it, and I can scarcely tear myself away from watching the transformation. I'm dazzled by its colours, its beauty and its charm. I feel lucky to have revisited this excitement for this time of year, which had been met with antipathy for so long. It's as if I have seen winter from a child's perspective once again.

I can hardly wait for the newness of Spring.

Below are some recent winter photos of nearby walking areas. Please scroll down to my previous entry (posted a few minutes ago) to see a few images of last night's total lunar eclipse. For clearer detail, please remember to click on the images to enlarge them.



Fluctuating temperatures cause frequent thaws and refreezes, creating this icy surface within a small cedar grove.



As the afternoon becomes evening, wispy shades of pink spread across the sky.



A pine tree stands tall, and watches as the sun paints the sky.



Across the lake, the sky is ablaze with colour.



The winter sky is magical at the point when the sun kisses the earth goodnight.



A golden moment in time.


18 comments:

Tink said...

So beautiful! You're lucky to have such pretty scenery around you. If I wanted to take a picture out my door, it would be of my neighbors, or the school with the graffiti on the wall that says "Suck It!" It's just not the same...

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow. More great winter scenes and the eclipse is amazing! I forgot all about it, so I'm glad you recorded it so well.

And even when I'm around beautiful scenery and point my camera at it, somehow I don't end up with a beautiful picture. Photography really is an art and some people are artists! I just own a a camera.

Frank Baron said...

I look adorable right now with my smugly self-satisfied smile.

:)

Reb said...

Great pictures Hilary and I am glad you have an excuse to go out and enjoy winter now.

Hilary said...

• Thanks Tink, but knowing you, you'd still make it look very artistic. You have the knack for doing that with everyday items.

• Thanks for the kind words, Crabby. The decent surroundings sure do help though.

• Frank, I kinda saw that smug expression as I wrote this post. It's a common look for you. ;)

• Thank you Reb. And so do I. :)

Jo said...

I remember feeling that way about summer for a while...the fat warm days just hit me as too silly & I longed for weather--then I gave in, and rediscovered so many things.

I love the first shot, which reminds me of our pear tree in WI...as kids we actually skated around it. And the last shot is just breathtaking, so still and explosive. Your photos are poetry.

DaisyJo said...

I had noticed that the days are growing longer, and I'm thankful.

Mama DB said...

Gorgeous shots! I love the one in the cedar grove. Beautiful.

And you did get a money shot of the eclipse!

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Jo. That means a lot to me coming from a true artist as yourself.

I always lament the passing of summer. It's my season. Learning to love winter has been a stretch for me.. yet.. here I am. :)

• Thanks for stopping by, DaisyJo. :)

• Thank you Mama DB. Your kind words are most appreciated. :)

Laurie said...

Those are great shots! Your moon photo is lovely. You are right about needing a tripod...I'm at a conference and forgot mine so I had to make do "by hand" which as you could see on the blog, didn't turn out very well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Hil, great shots. Steph took some, but she shot them through the screen. Mine were too blurry (my not-so-steady hands are 4 years older than yours ;) ) I video taped the last lunar eclipe, using Dad's old tripod, much steadier!

Moi said...

you write so beautifully Hiallry and you always manage to touch a chord :)
it's like you put my feelings into words..i wish i had that comfortable rel'ship with words !!!! :)
I have just changed homes and moving to Illinois from Florida is such a vast change in the scenery that unlike many I want the winters to stay longer so that i can soak in all of winter's stark beauty before spring's here!!!! :)

beautiful pictures, as always!!! have a beautiful, relaxed, satisfying weekend :)

Moi said...

oops!!! I did not intend to spell your name wrong!!!!

Dan said...

Your great pics make the cold days of winter look inviting. Great job on these!

photowannabe said...

Beautiful poetry both in word and picture. I like your renewed good feelings for the seasons because of the camera. I feel the same way. Life looks so different through the camera's lens.
Your last picture in this post is supurb. I think it should be framed.

Hilary said...

• Laurie, a tripod is on my wish list for sure. Thanks for your kind words.

• Well darn, Andi. I was counting on you for some moon shots but I'd like to see that video some time. :)

• Thanks so much for your kind words, Moi. They mean a lot to me. I'm wondering what you'll have to say about winter in say.. three years from now, when you've shoveled countless driveways. ;)

• Thank you for stopping by Dan.. and for your kind words. :)

• Thanks Photowannabe. That's high praise coming from a wonderful photographer such as yourself. And you're so right about the camera's perspective. It can be magical.

g-man said...

Nice sentiments. Excellent photos. I do enjoy your eye. :)

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, G-man. :)