Snow Wild

Something about the snow enchants. The gleaming whiteness and the whisperings of snowflakes cast a spell of silent mirth. Snowfall finds the pup in the dog, the child in the human, and the magic in the air. The dull landscape of winter is transformed into a fairyland. The mundane is made fresh and new. What glory!IMG_9611eFrom the storehouses of heaven, the snow is given, every drift, every flake. Each snowflake is a unique handiwork, proclaiming the glory of its Creator. Only a loving God would have given us beauty in a snowflake, or a snowfall.  And down they fly, countless, peerless, and, as the day wears on, seemingly endless. Even a fall of rimed snow is glorious to behold.


IMG_9596eHills beyond hills fall away into a cloud of silvery grey. Trees rise stark against the white of the earth and the white of the sky and the brilliance of the air. The snow deepens. A breath of wind sweeps a drift. IMG_9603eIMG_9618eAs simple and homely a thing as a coil of barbed wire becomes a thing of beauty in this landscape of changed colors and textures. New things are noticed, or old things are noticed anew – The faint and familiar grid of wire fencing, the grain of hundred-year-old wood, the color of old flower stems, the lantern hanging at the corner of the shop roof, the lichen on the fence boards, the rusted chain draped near a fence post, the snow-covered juniper and the white windowsill. IMG_9609eIMG_9601e Silence reigns in the falling snow. It is as if everything stops, except for the piling and mounding of snow, expectant, waiting. Windswept clouds of white curl off the roof and disperse, and drifts are coaxed into being. Every footstep is muffled. It is as if the world holds its breath to see what will happen next, to wake to a new world, a clean world, a renewed world. IMG_9555eBut in the silence there is a wildness, a pent-up energy, a joy waiting to burst forth. It’s in the air, and it gets into the blood, under the skin. Some bundle up and venture out into this frigid world, and are drawn into the spell. IMG_9458eIn a world enchanted, the cold seems less cold, the biting air seems sweeter, and the searing of each joyous breath is invigorating. The reverent, expectant silence of the snowfall is broken by peals of helpless laughter and sparkling mirth. Snow flies underfoot and overhead, and in the tumble and play of a snowy romp, we all become children again, carefree and snow wild.

Laura Elizabeth

Snow Magic

IMG_6041.1lowrez  Snow changes everything. A drab, brown, winter landscape becomes a fairy world. A moonlit night becomes silver bright. A windy gale becomes a cozy blizzard. Tufts of grass and the tiny life of plants stands out with  new poignancy in the chill of winter when snow is heavy on the ground. Little sounds are magnified, like the rustle of snow falling from a burdened branch and landing with a soft sigh in the snow below. Little bird feet that hardly bend the grass in summer leave bewildering prints in the snow. Cold never seems as cold when snow is falling.

There must be magic in the snow.

We had just enough snow onIMG_6044.1lowrez Friday night to count, in my books at least, as a White Christmas, and Sarah and I made a point yesterday to get out and enjoy it thoroughly. With the goal of ending up with Remington and Dove, we set out at 3:45, bundled up and armed with our cameras.

IMG_6051.1lowrezLittle things kept catching my eye, in ways that are different from the summer months. Winter is the season of shifting lights and shadows, and the life of winter is in the play of light and dark, the sparkle of frost in the moonlight, or the blue shadows in the snow beneath the trees. It was fitting, then, that what ended up tugging at my mind about this little family of coneflowers wasn’t even the flower stalks and heads themselves, but what stretched behind them. The magic of snow and the enchantment of light.

IMG_6079.1lowrezWith the sinking sunlight in the west, the smoke from my uncle’s burnpiles a few hilltops over rose up like a fog and drifted north. The farthest hills and Harney Peak were nearly obscured, with their easterly slopes no longer lit by the sun. Shadowed hillsides shimmered blue, while sunlit little bluestem glowed golden, sparkling warmly in the chill winter air. Even the air seems to sparkle as the temperatures drop.

IMG_6067.1lowrezTiny footprints of rabbits and delicate hoof prints of deer leave dimples in the snow. The snow doesn’t keep secrets. Gently-worn tire tracks, leftover from summer and not even deep enough to call a trail, were filled with snow and stretched on until they disappeared over the hill or into the trees. When spring comes and the grass grows back green and tall, the tire tracks will disappear, blending back into the landscape, overtaken by springtime. But winter remembers.

IMG_6086.1lowrezEven after a hard frost and inches of snow and months of winter weather, remnants of life still remain in the plants. Green leaves at the base of a taller plant, or tiny patches of woodsorrel or thistle, or these little leaves, unbitten by the frost. It amazes me to see how well God equips His Creation, and how hardy even the most delicate-seeming things really are. What wonderful capacity for survival God lavished on these, the works of His hands.

IMG_6142.1lowrezWhen we clambered out of a little hollow and up into the meadow where the horses are, the sky was a clear, pure  blue, the snow a clean, pure white, and Harney Peak was visible in the distance. The horses saw us and came nearer to socialize. Dove was shy as usual, but I expected the snow to have put some spunk and spice into Remington. Instead of spunk and spice, he was mellow and affectionate, almost like a big dog. Each breath puffed a cloud of fog, and his hooves kicked up sparkling snow. Little Dove stood a ways off, content to watch from a distance.

IMG_6225.1lowrezThe most mundane things take on new life in the snow. These little plants, brown at first sight, turned out to be red, when I crouched down to look closer at them. They seemed like tiny berries. The twiggy plants covered a hillside, catching the last of the light of the afternoon.

IMG_6240.1lowrezShadows lengthened. When we finally got back to the top of our ridge and looked down at our cabin and the Miner’s Cabin, the sun had been behind the hills for awhile. Home looked cozy. Turkish coffee sounded good. No matter the season, I enjoy a good hike around our place. But in the snow, everything just looks different. New things are highlighted. Normally overlooked things stand out. There’s whimsy. A different sort of beauty. A touch of magic.

Laura Elizabeth