Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Heart of Winter

Winter sure does change the landscape in a hurry, doesn't it? Bare branches, icy ponds and frozen hillsides are softened with a layer of silence.

snowy park path2
Every mile is two in winter. ~ George Herbert

A section of the park pathway which circles around the pond.

lake pattern
Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

When the lake freezes over, there always seems to be an interesting pattern of bare patches. I imagine that the trees protected the lake from the snowy breeze in these areas.

bench pond2
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~ J. B. Priestley

Look beyond this wintry picnic table, to the pond below. That's where I saw Woodrow and the other ducks which were featured two posts back.

brave oak leaf
Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours." ~Robert Byrne

I couldn't help but notice this feisty oak leaf defiantly flickering in the breeze, refusing to allow winter to bury it.

park pines3
Of winter’s lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer’s secret
Deep down within its heart.
~ Charles G. Stater

This was just meant to be a photo shot more or less into the sun, of a peek at a park bench as seen between the trees. It was only when I uploaded the image that I saw this unusual sunspot (or something) which appeared to be glowing from the lower branches of the nearest tree. If you look at it closely....

snowy heart

... you'll see that it is heart-shaped and red, and it has me wondering what this tree might be telling me. Whatever it is, it's a comfort in the heart of winter.


Friko said...

I am sure you have seen the path of light that leads to the bench between the trees.

A heart, light? What can it all mean?

Gary's third pottery blog said...

I am so glad you have that park and shared so much!!!!!

Rebecca said...


Brian Miller said...

lovely snow always makes the world look so fresh

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful walk around the pond. The Oak leaf is extraordinary!
Is there a spot of water on your lens?

June said...

Oh, you are so good at this!
I feel like the oak leaf.

Out on the prairie said...

Yesterday going into an area with a friend I laughed when I pointed to one section and reminded her of the shot we had seen in the early fall.You found some fun shots today.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Your park must be to you like the reservoir where I walk in summer is to me. Unfortunately, the reservoir is only open for six months of the year. I'd love to visit it in winter because bald eagles have been seen in the area, and who knows what other beautiful sights I might be missing. So I'm glad to be able to take these "virtual" walks with you. The snowy path in the first photo is lovely, and the lone oak leave against the snow is dramatic.

Hilary said...

the first pic is my favorite.
You do have the eye.

Debbie said...

Those are gorgeous photos. Sadly, I am sick of snow. I just need a tiny break from it!

Kerri Farley said...

Outstanding images .... Perfect Quotes ..... Wonderful post :)

Lori said...

Even though winter is getting to feel long and endless, you have a way of making the snow even more beautiful with your captures and your is suppose to snow today and tomorrow, maybe I can have a better attitude towards it after your post here. XX

CiCi said...

Yep, there it is, a bright orange color heart on that tree. Nice. We could use lots of heart these days.

DJan said...

I always love your pictures, Hilary. Your eye is impeccable. And it's true that snow might be a little much for some people right now, I still find it very peaceful and serene.

Anonymous said...

What wonderful photos! I too wonder what that red heart is!

Karen said...

Hilary, that red on the tree is amazing! Those pics are quiet and majestic at the same time. Thanks!

365 Attempts (At Life) said...

Love the photo of the picnic table, you can almost feel lazy summer days under all that crisp, white snow.

She Who Carries Camera said...

I have so enjoyed our infrequent visitor who came this past Sunday and has left his presence behind for so many days. It's put a smile on my face each morning when I've opened up the blinds to see the new day. Today the sun finally came out which put an extra brilliance to all the whiteness that's still out there. The cherry on top!

Absolutely love the lake photo even though they are all beautiful.

Cricket said...

Beautiful pictures, as always. I love how winter turns a color photo black-and-white.

I don't think i would say I love winter the way I love autumn, but I like it pretty well. Had a foot or so of "heart attack" snow yesterday. Ugh. I'd rather 2 feet of powder. Still, it's pretty, even here. Covers up the city grime.

Winter has its own set of headaches, but I think i'd miss it if I didn't have it anymore.

Sorry I haven't been around. Been trying to get back to normal after a Christmas that wouldn't quit and a "vacation" that felt like it would never end.

"Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again!" Well, Dad anyway. Mom's a teacher. :-P

How about Emily Remler: Snowfall?

Daryl said...

Looks like blood .. odd very odd .. and the pathway is one of those photos I could sit and stare at/into all day and I just might

messymimi said...

Beautiful, and i can enjoy it from the comfort of my home.


steviewren said...

Your winter scenes are lovely, but after having our ice pack on the ground four 4 straight days (with no hope of melting until tomorrow) I am sick of the white stuff!

So from now on, I will not wish for snow, but enjoy yours instead.

Jinksy said...

I think you've been out with a pot of white paint and a brush, to make ita all look so 'Persil Washes Whiter'!

Kristina P. said...

I love it when the snow is undisturbed.

Suldog said...

You make it look pretty, rather than cold, wet, toe-freezing, and miserable :-)

Oh, hell, I guess it IS pretty, but I just finished with two hours of shoveling yesterday, so have not had time to re-stabilize my pretty receptors.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Lovely, lovely photos and quotes, as usual. Thank you.

The unexpected 'heart' in the tree branches is amazing.

Zuzana said...

Beautiful winter images, fairy tale like indeed. Love the idea of the heart on the last image and the subtle message it conveys...

Saz said...

fab images and fab resolution, l can see each ice the leaf!!

saz xx

you must have a fab camera

Sueann said...

Beautiful photos Hilary! And that red heart does glow. Amazing!
Snow is the best transformer!!

Dianne said...

I love bare limbs and when they are gently cloaked in snow they're so beautiful

your defiant oak leaf is so brilliant!! I want to hug it

Anonymous said...

The oak leaf was my favorite until I saw the tree giving you its heart. Beautiful images and makes me wish even more for some snow down here!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos Hilary! I love the heart of the tree in the last photo! And I also love how nature often "refuses"!!! :)

Bob Bushell said...

The heart (in the last photo) was telling us, that every day there is hope.

Pauline said...

ET phone home - the light in the tree made me think of that movie :)

Wonderful winter - and wonderful photos!

Frank Baron said...

Love the oak leaf shot. And that patch of light is unusual and interesting. The world looks so serene when blanketed by a fresh snowfall. But I guess it should be serene eh? -- most of it is asleep. :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos and I really loved the quotes!

Tabor said...

you have made me wish we got snow recently instead of just a little crisp covering! That is quite an accomplishment as I am beginning to get sick of winter already.

Unknown said...

Love love the photos.
And the oak leaf... I've been taking notice of them too.
Kindred spirits.

The light spot is very cool. I have to say I've never taken many outdoor photos in the winter, or winter light, so I'm very surprised at what's been showing up on my camera as well.

Unspoken said...

Ohhhhhh, ahhhhhhh! :)

Wendy said...

Interesting, finding a heart on the tree. A red one too. Is Valentine's Day coming early?

Lovely shots. I can see the ducks on the lake (in the distance).They must be frozen.

Cloudia said...

THIS post should win an award!

You have filled me with wonder and taken me back to a child again.

Thanks for mentioning my post in your influential POTW. Sometimes life just puts someone in your path that IS and excellent "post" aching to be shared.

Aloha from Waikiki, Friend

Comfort Spiral



Anvilcloud said...

I think winter and snow are dandy. As long as you don't have to drive in snow storm -- and I don't. Nicely done.

Tammie Lee said...

so much beauty!
I love your leaf photo!

tattytiara said...

You know, before I had even finished scrolling down to see the full, first photo I was hearing the "crunch crunch crunch" of walking on that path.

Hilary said...

• Friko, I did indeed see that light. I was actually focusing on that path but it was the heart that amused me when I saw the uploaded image. I'd still like to know what it means too. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Gary. It's my little piece of country in the middle of the city. I'd be lost without out. I'm glad you enjoy it too. :)

• Thank you, Becca. :)

• Thanks, Brian. It sure does have a way of cleaning things up. :)

• Thanks kindly, Steve. Yes, there are a few water spots, in fact. And they're on the inside. They really show in that photo. And they drive me nuts Well more nuts. :)

• Thanks very much, June. That oak leaf has attitude. :)

• Thank you, Steve. Autumn wasn't so long ago. That must mean that spring isn't too far off either. :)

• Linda, it would be so wonderful to see bald eagles in winter. I was lucky enough to see them the past few summers. I'll treasure that always. I'm happy that you join me on our virtual walks - no matter the season. Thanks always for the kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, my namesake. :)

• Debbie, I hear what you're saying. I feel that way about the cold, but we've not had that much snow yet, so it's still good.. for a few more days. ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Kerri, thank you so much. :)

• Thanks, Lori. I know the feeling about a long, drawn out winter. So far, I'm not finding this one to be too bad. We've had very little snow so far. But I'm glad if my photos give you a bit of a lift. Thanks for letting me know. :)

• TechnoBabe, we sure could. Here's hoping that lots of heart is coming your way. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• DJan, thank you very much for such kind words. I'm doing OK with the snow so far too. Ask me again in a couple of weeks, though. ;)

• LadyFi, thank you. I have no clue about the heart but it was nice of it to join me. And nice of you, too. :)

• Karen, thank you kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I'm always happy to share with you. :)

• 365, it's a lovely spot in all seasons. A great view of the foliage in autumn, and the trees on either side of it have beautiful, deep pink blossoms in spring. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Jillsy. I'm glad that the snow pleases you so much. You're probably not in the majority but you're most likely happier because of it. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Cricket, I know what you mean about winter. I've come to appreciate it a lot more since walking with a camera in my hands and I'd surely miss if we skipped it altogether. Though I might have felt otherwise a few years back. Thanks for the soundtrack. Always fine choices. :)

• Daryl, you've spent too much time around the hospital - seeing blood in that tree. But yes, it is odd. Stare away all you like. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

• MessyMimi, that sounds like a good deal to me. Thank you. :)

• Steviewren, I can't say I blame you. We've not had too much snow yet this year so it's still kind of fresh for me. Feel free to enjoy my snow all you like. I'm glad to have you along. :)

Hilary said...

• Jinksy, that must be a UK product but I catch your (snow) drift. ;)

• Kristina, as do I. It would be nice if it stayed that way for a while but there's always something to disturb it.. including camera-toting bloggers. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Well thank you kindly, Jim. By tomorrow you're muscles will be screaming and you'll find it even less pretty, so just enjoy it today. Thanks for the always-kind words. :)

• Thank you, Pat. I was quite surprised to see it, myself. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Zuzana, my friend, thank you for the kind words. I knew the heart would appeal to the romantic in you. :)

• Thanks, Saz. Indeed I do. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Thanks very much, SueAnn. I've never thought of snow that way but you're quite right. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Dianne. That leaf was so brazen - it couldn't be ignored. I wish I could give you a hug. I hope you're healing from your tumble. :)

• Barbara, that's such a lovely way to put it.. that the tree is giving me its heart. I like that. Thanks so much for your kind words. :)

• Thank you, Rain. I had no doubt you'd enjoy this post. I'm glad that you did. :)

• Bob, that's the perfect interpretation. Thanks for that. :)

• Pauline, funny you should think that. It crossed my mind briefly when I saw it too. Great minds. ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thank you, Frank. Yes, it's sleeping soundly with that heart beating warmly. I'm glad you like the oak leaf. :)

• Thanks, Nurse. I'm glad you did. :)

• Tabor, it's the first significant snow we've had so I understand how you're feeling about the minimal covering. It's sure been cold though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you so much, Deb. The oak leaves are sticklers, aren't they? As for winter shots, there's lots of beauty to be found everywhere. I'm glad you're enjoying the season photographically too. :)

• Amy, I'm glad it was good for you. ;)

• Wendy, the heart was something of a comfort, whatever it means. The Mallards tend to stay warn, no matter the weather. Lucky ducks! ;)

• Cloudia, thank you so much for such kind words. Your POTW post was excellent and needed to be shared, for sure. Thanks always for your visit. :)

• Thanks, AC. It sounds like you're easy to please as far as the season goes. :)

• Thanks so much, Tammie Lee. Much appreciated. :)

• TattyTiara, I'll try to walk more softly next time. ;) Thanks for joining me on that stroll. :)

Juana said...

Your photography has captured my attention!! Wondereful blog!!

Dawning Inspiration said...

Something so peaceful about images like these - all that soft snow - and bare branches and delicateness... lovely!

Paul C said...

A healthy snowfall can provide such a dramatic transformation!

Leah J. Utas said...

Winter sure does bring out a place's character.

Grizz………… said...

These are lovely shots…better, frankly, than a bunch I just posted of my cottage-side riverbank. Re. that warm "heartspot," if it wasn't due to internal lens flare, I'm stumped. Maybe that evergreen just likes you? ;-)

Finally, I know it's belated, but thank you so much for mentioning Riverdaze recently in your "Posts of the Week" piece. Several visitors have found their way over via your link—and seemed to like the photo. I really do appreciate them—and you. (You know, I'm sure the same thing is going on with that pine.)

Scott Law said...

Very pretty series there Hilary. You put a lot of work into these with all the quotes and everything. Always a pleasant visit.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Lovely shots. I love fresh snow on tree branches. Everything looks so pristine. I need to get out more this winter and get some shots of the now myself.

Mage said...

Goodness, that red was a surprise.

Lovely....for one such as me, all that snow is so lovely. I remember living in about that level of snow and going to work in 3 inch heels.....oh, the young. LOL

That red leave reaching out of the snow on it's branch, is flat out stunning. I hope you are entering it in something. :)

Moannie said...

Totally totally lovely...and so much colder looking in black and for that red spot, and the leaf...looking like a hand holding up a flag.

Redbush said...

Great winter pics, Hilary! I guess we must have been reading each other's minds. My winter pics don't have the poetry with them.

Maggie May said...

Wonderful photos. That little heart is really heartening to look at.
The snow looks lovely when it is fresh like that.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Mental P Mama said...

Just as beautiful as the Bill Morgan quote;)

sleepinl8 said...

this is beautiful! what kind of camera do you have because I have been thinking about upgrading from my digital to something more hi-def.

Joanna Jenkins said...

This is exactly how I like to enjoy winter-- From the warmth of my home via the computer screen :-)

Gorgeous shots as always-- I love the dark branches contrasting against the white snow-- This is the first time I've seen the heart in the winter though. I like that.

Have a great weekend, jj

SandyCarlson said...

Winter is nature's way of also saying "shut up and go away." Which I love about winter.

Unknown said...

These images beautifully capture the splendor of Winter! It easily allows one to ponder the moment with infinite possibilties, Hilary! :)

Lisa said...


Claudya Martinez said...

The color on that branch seems to want to tell a story.

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful set of winter pictures Hilary. That last shot of the heart in the tree, is very strange.
I think Bob might just be right with his comment.

And I love that quote from Robert Byrne lol

Dave said...

Your snow scenes seem beautiful to me Hilary as we don't get snow where I live. To go to a snowy place is a novelty. In winter it is about three hours drive to get there. Nice photos of your magic place - thanks for showing them :-) - Dave
P.S. couldn't figure what that coloured patch was in the tree.

Hilary said...

• Welcome, Juana and thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• SD, thanks kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Paul, it sure can. One of the quickest positive changes in nature. :)

• Leah, it does indeed. :)

• Grizz, thanks very kindly. It probably was lens flare.. if you wanna get technical about it. ;) But I kind of prefer the spontaneous appearance of a heart... and that the tree likes me, as you said. :)
Thanks for your sweet words. I'm glad you've enjoyed a few more visitors to your wonderful blog. :)

• Thank you, Scott. Very much appreciated. :)

• VM, there really are a lot of snow photo opportunities if you look for them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Maggie, ha, I remember dressing like that too. Young and not too bright. ;) Thanks so much for your very kind words. I've entered the photo here on my blog, haven't I? ;)

• Thanks very much, Moannie. Always a pleasure when you stop by for a visit. Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Redbush, when life gives us winter, we take winter pics. Thanks for the kind words. Always nice to see you stop by. :)

• Maggie May, thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Thanks, MPM. I'm glad you did. :)

• Sleepinl8, thank you. It's a Canon EOS 50D. Thanks for the kind words and welcome to my blog. :)

• Joanna, I'm glad I could accommodate your winter enjoyment. ;) Thanks always for your very kind words. :)

• Sandy this is true. It's a bossy season but we can just opt to shut it out sometimes. ;)

• Michael, thanks so much. I'm glad my post evoked some pondering for you. ;)

• Thanks, Ocean Girl. :)

• Mami, if I was a wordsmith like so many of my visitors, I might attempt its story. For now, I'll just let the image speak for itself. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Keith, thank you kindly. Yes, Bob's comment was very inspired and inspiring. Thanks so much for the visit. :)

• Dave, thank you. I'm glad I could oblige you with a visit to a snowy part of the world. No doubt there'll be a lot more of that coming up. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Dan said...

Like the skier hoping to be the first to lay fresh tracks, you managed to capture some "winterful" and magical images.

A friend recently posted a comment asking people to comment on whether they could recognize a miracle today. Maybe your glowing heart image qualifies. :o)

Hilary said...

Daniel, thank you so much for such a lovely comment. It warmed my own heart. :)

Anonymous said...

Love your winter scene pics... beautifully captured! Thanks for
:) Lord Thomas of Wellington

Judith said...

All the photos are amazing -- But the brave oak leaf has won my heart. It is the essence of gallantry!
Technically, I don't know how you do it. The clarity, brilliance, sparkle, simplicity.
Oh well, gives me something to shoot for (pun intended)! So glad Pauline put me on to your blog.

Hilary said...

• Thanks very kindly, Bach. Much appreciated. :)

• Welcome, Judith and thank you so much for such kind words. I'm so glad that you found your way here too. Thank you Pauline! :)