Apparently, this takes me by surprise every year.
I’m out on a walk on a day sometime shortly after the warm spring winds begin to blow and the mud appears, and I think, “You know, most people think this is an ugly time of year, but if you pay attention, there’s a lot of prettiness.”
At the time, this strikes me as an original thought, worthy of a blog post, even.
Is it just me, or is it repeating itself in here?
Who can blame me, though? When you first look down an unplowed section of shadowed, dirty-ish snowbank, it’s not all that appealing. However, when you know that you are walking on top of four feet of most excellent igloo-building snow, there’s something cool and unique about that. For one thing, it makes you wonder: how do they build igloos, and what it’s like to call such a place “home”?
This is the sort of snow that I affiliate with the stirrings of maple sap, and this is also lovely.
The crust on the snow crystallizes, throwing off colors you can only see out of your peripheral vision (they disappear when you look at them directly) or through a polarized camera lens.
This is not only stunning; it’s downright psychedelic.
Of course, the big picture isn’t too bad, either.
Snowplow blades have created the illusion of multiple geological eras, which, depending on how long a winter it’s been, isn’t too far off the mark.
There’s a simple joy in hunting the sides of the roads, anticipating the first blade of really green grass amongst the dead. This is a small pleasure denied to those who live in chronically verdant locations.
By the way, I told Winston he could come on my “camera walk” only if he promised to stay out of the photos.
What dog? I don’t see a dog.
I believe in giving the benefit of doubt.
The runoff creates winking streams in the road. This one actually burbled.
And when else in the year can you see this kind of mud pattern in nature? Or all across your living room hardwood floor?
Even the mud itself can be beautiful.
This reminded me of the incredible hand-made fudge-ripple mocha ice cream we had in Key West last August. What else in my day was likely to remind me of that?
The wind and sun conspire to drill mysterious caverns and tunnels into the banks. How, exactly, does this work?
And where does that blue, green, and lavender come from? On the surface, it all looks very white.
Don’t stare at this too long… You’ll see a face, an armchair, and a sci-fi snow monster in quick succession, and then it gets weird.
Oh, Winston… for the love of all things shiny, will you MOVE, please?!
I think I was setting up the shot to make a point about repeating cumulus shapes in nature, but now I forget where I was going with this.