Spruce pine cone

Spruce pine cone

Winter-melt.  That’s what you might call these past two days.  Everywhere you can hear the drip, drip, drip of snow melting.  The temperature soared to 40 degrees yesterday and some of us sighed with deep relief, already envisioning spring.

I spent almost three hours outside, soaking up the warmth, exploring.  I snapped a hundred pictures, at least.  The snow melting against the deck, the snow careening from the roof, the snow turning to water everywhere.

(My fellow partner in this house does not approve.  He’s an ice fisherman, and delights in cold, as the cold means the ice is thickening on the bay.  He wants to fish off Pequaming….soon.  Therefore, we’re at “checkmate” every time the temperature rises.  He wants it below freezing.  I want it above.  We’ve got an uneasy truce….)

After a half hour of shoveling and exploring and picture-taking around our house, the phone rang.  It was my friend, Nancy (of cross-country skiing fame a week or so ago).  “What are you doing?” she wanted to know.  I thought she was angling another skiing invitation and began planning excuses due to my still-hurting tailbone.  But instead–can you imagine?–she wanted me to come over and teach her how to take pictures on her digital camera.

Me?  What a hoot!  I barely know anything about the camera.  The only thing I might have, and it’s debatable, is a photographic “eye”.  It’s kind of like the imagination of visual artists.  I see weird and unusual angles.  That’s it.  That’s the only thing that’s created any photos thus far in this blog.

But, to humor her, (and to get more pictures!) I agreed to come over.  We spent almost three hours snapping pictures.  What fun!  For example, look at the photo below of Nancy attempting to capture the etched shadow of the word “Welcome” in the snow. 

Nancy capturing a photographic wonder

Nancy capturing a photographic wonder

Nancy has created amazing gardens around her house, so in the summertime we’ll explore some of her plantings and creations.  In the meantime, we tromped through snow and I showed her the possibility of capturing photos at strange angles and perspectives.  She was a quick learner.  After awhile, she fixed us some herbal tea and we sat outside near the bird feeder and attempted to capture pictures of chickadees or a persistent woodpecker.  What fun to sit outside at 40 degrees and drink tea and snap photos.  Then she craftily decided to give me her camera, and take a picture of me taking pictures.  Got that?

An afternoon photo shoot (with a dog named Rudy)

An afternoon photo shoot (with a dog named Rudy)

Afterward we walked along the trail behind their house.  I can’t describe the lovely expansive feeling of being outside when the temperature first moves towards spring.  The birds twittered and called and fluttered overhead.  The drone of a far-away snowmobile sounded.  Through the trees, you could see the wide expanse of the Huron Bay.  It felt tropical.  I swear it.  I began to think it possible to spend hours and hours and hours outside enjoying the first winter-melt.

But, one last photo.  You know my love affair with red berries, right?  How’s this one?  Unfortunately, Nancy’s not home so I can’t call and ask her once again for the name of this beautiful plant.  She told me clearly at least twice.  Let’s just enjoy, once again, the splash of color in our white and winter landscape.

Orange-red in the winter garden

Orange-red in the winter garden

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