Sea shell of a leaf

Sea shell of a leaf

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I enjoyed snowshoeing outside today.  Have you ever had one of those meanders in nature where everything seemed utterly beautiful and meaningful and fascinating?

Everywhere my camera and I walked something leaped out of the snow and woods to reveal an alluring angle, an inspiring possibility, an interesting view.

I wondered:  is this beauty available all the time and we can only truly see it when we’re not focused on our everyday thoughts, internal conversations and hasty paces?

Through the veil of branches

Through the veil of branches

I paused in front of three tiny spruces and wondered if they were a family of sorts.  I peered in all sorts of nooks and crannies of rotting trees.  Fierce woodpeckers and other tiny wood-burrowing creatures had hollowed out many a hole.  I looked deeper and deeper into these crevices, marveling at the stalactites and stalagmites of the wood-world. 

Threads of beauty in the inner realms of a dying tree

Threads of beauty in the inner realms of a dying tree

I ambled on the snowshoes in between whipping branches attempting to bring any unsuspecting walker to a standstill.  A partridge burst upwards towards the sky, a squawking flutter of wings and panic.  I am dying for a picture of a partridge (the reason which will be revealed in a future blog). They move so quickly there’s no time to point the camera’s shutter and capture the feathers in flight.  There’s only the noise and the startled thud of your fast-beating heart.

Snow careened across branches and limbs in odd angles.  You can marvel for ten minutes at how the snow retains odd shapes against the wood.  Look at the following picture:

Sagging sculptures of snow on branches in the woods

Sagging sculptures of snow on branches in the woods

How does snow do that?  How does it hang in such beauty without collapsing onto the ground?  How does it remain like that for days or weeks? 

I am in awe viewing nature’s art.  She is the most fantastic artist.  Always changing her designs, always creating anew, always catching us unaware as we stumble across her incredible beauty. 

When I returned to the house to download the photos, a moment of disappointment arose.  It felt like the pictures couldn’t capture the stark beauty of the morning’s wanderings.  The photos hinted at the exquisite song of nature, but didn’t fully encompass it.  The beauty was so large it couldn’t be framed in single images, tamed into limited viewpoints.

Perhaps sometimes the beauty refuses to be captured to continue to lure us outside, into the magnificence of nature’s own gallery.

Advertisements