Reflections of a Year

If I were to sum up the year 2013 it would be with these words:

It has been a year of change.  A year of challenges.  A year of gifts.  A year of growth.  A year of sadness. A year of blessings. A year of understanding. A year of wandering…

Most of all, it has been a year of finding joy.

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I have traveled down many paths this year…

I have discovered many things…about the world around me and within me.

I have climbed mountains and breathed in the sea…

I have been awed by the beauty and fragility of life…

I have felt the wind and adjusted my sails…

I have experienced sunsets and sunrises…

2013 is coming to a close. I look forward to the New Year with anticipation and excitement. So much more to discover and learn. So much more wondering and wandering to do…

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Happy New Year!

Ice Storm

What a difference a few miles makes.  Two days before Christmas, parts of Vermont experienced an ice storm.  Here in Northfield we got rain.  The temperature hovered in the 40’s for two days.  Several miles north, about 15 miles to be exact, the weather was quite different.  It is one thing to see it on the news, the trees draped in thick layers of ice.

It’s another thing to actually see it yourself…

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I took some time yesterday to go and look.  The scenery drastically changing as I crossed over into the next county north.  I couldn’t believe my eyes, even though I have been through an ice storm before.  The sun was shining. The trees and plants all glistened…weighted down by frozen water.

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 Even the roads were still treacherous.  The layer of ice not melting in the frigid temperatures.

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Evidence of downed trees and even telephone wires laying on the side of the road.  People without power still.

Ice.

Powerful, beautiful, dangerous

I took pictures of it’s beauty.  It is not something that happens often.  A rare chance to capture it.

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Nature at her worst…

 Nature at her best.

The Color of Winter

As a photographer I am sometimes challenged in winter.  As a person, with its short days and long nights, winter can be challenging to the spirit as well. The colors around me are limited…

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 However it is the splashes of color that catch my eye and give joy to my heart. That make the winter a bit less challenging…as a photographer and as a person.  In the depth of winter, amidst the endless white, it is the color that makes us pause…gives us pleasure and reminds us that life is not just white or black or gray

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And the cold stark landscape is forgotten for awhile.

I go in search for the color of winter.

In the woods…

In the snow…

In the ice…

In the sky…

And in the middle of nowhere…

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May your holidays be colorful and bright!

My Tree

I think it’s no surprise how much I like trees. What you may not know is that every place I’ve lived I always find a tree. A special tree. A tree I visit…in all seasons…that I photograph and capture all the changes it goes through.

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A tree that provides me with something…peace or serenity. Or maybe it’s the idea of laying down roots. A metaphor for how I bond with the place I live.

When I moved here this fall it was important I find a new tree…and I did.

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It’s just a short hike up the hill behind our house. My tree is the first thing I see when I enter the meadow. It is a huge old tree…with deep roots.  It stands alone so it experiences all the harshness of the elements.  It’s a maple tree so it’s used the the changing seasons, the cold Vermont winters, and the providing…

For both people and animals.

I went to visit my tree today. We had a snowstorm yesterday. Our first real snow of the winter. A foot of fresh snow.

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There is a sense of calm I feel upon seeing it. And it’s beauty always surprises me. As well as the sheer size of it. A strong tree.

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I photograph it…trying to capture its essence…its simplicity…and its allure

I’m just getting to know my tree. But I think it’s going to develop into a lifelong relationship.

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A Breath of Fresh Air

It’s been a long few weeks.  Hunting season has prevented me from getting out and exploring. Report cards have kept me glued to my computer and inside…staring at a screen instead of the world around me.

Sunday I broke free. Report cards done and sent home to parents and hunting season over.  I needed air.

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Fresh, wonderful, sweet, aromatic, rejuvenating…air!

There is a place…I’ve passed the sign for it dozens of times…wondering about it and always promising myself that someday I would go there.  That day was Sunday.

It was sunny but brisk. A typical December day in Vermont. I was prepared. Bundled in layers and ready to discover.

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My destination? Noyes Pond. Located deep in the Groton State Forest. A place that has many hidden treasures. Ponds, lakes, mountains, forests…and lots of trails.

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One of the joys of exploring an unfamiliar place is the surprises you find. And since I’d never been there I was very happily surprised.

The pond. Frozen over and shimmering in the sun.

A pond enjoyed by fly fishermen in the summer but still lovely and breathtaking in the winter. Outbuildings closed up and boats resting on shore…

A dam…built years ago. Telling the story of this unique place.

A trail around the pond with surprises at every turn…

Intricate patterns in the snow and ice…

An ancient camp nestled at the far end where the pond becomes a bog…

There is a lodge here for summer visitors. Where one can rest after a day of enjoying the beauty of this place…

The only visitors now are 4 legged…

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The sun begins to set. I don’t want to leave but I must.

I turn around to take one last look…

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and I take a deep breath of fresh air.