The screams of delight from the children at Halloween are still ringing in our ears as fall gives way to winter. Fresh thoughts of goblins, witches, fairy princesses and other such creatures remain in our imagination as the first winter frost descends upon the valley. It’s time to put summer and fall behind us and embrace the beauty that unfolds in front of us as the new season arrives. Each season brings with it a fresh landscape to enjoy, new details to take in. A place that looks one way in the height of summer takes on a whole different look with a dusting of frost and snow.
This is personally one of my favorite photographs I have ever taken. I pass this magical place twice every day on my commute to-and-from work, and each time the scene as presented takes on a character of its own. The last few weeks as I have been driving by, the conditions have slowly been changing with a heavy fog settled on the valley floor and on days where the skies are clear in the mornings, we sometimes get frost. Finally the scene’s beckoning became a cacophony in my head and I was no longer able to sit still; I got up with Mrs. Toad at the crack of dawn and headed out to capture that elusive shot.
There were indeed some clouds lingering over the horizon this frigid morning as I stood on the side of the highway with my tripod extended and my breath cracking the frosty air. Yet still, the sun was gently bathing the valley in wonderful tones and hues, and at the moment I was ready to press the shutter it gently graced the facade of the red barn, producing a sense that the barn was welcoming in the day. The finishing touches were found in the placid shadows that cloak the valley floor from the large evergreens that stand proud and tall.
A few hundred feet down the road and turning to my left to face the rising sun, we see the stark harbinger of winter making its presence known in the brooding clouds that linger in the morning sky, casting dark shade onto the landscape below. The frost brightens the vista, and a gentle veil of fog hangs just above the ground as if it’s trying to insulate the earth below it. Some days this time of year the fog is so dense you can’t see more than a few hundred yards, other days it adds soft character.
As we make our way around the bend to be near a tiny lake sedentarily standing sentry on the outskirts of the large farm, the fog that lies on the water creates a sense of peace and loneliness. The mountains beckon us in the backdrop, but at this time of year it definitely is colder the higher you go, so it’s much more comfortable to witness the beauty from this spot.
Although the lake is small, we see a home peering out from behind the barren trees that only a few weeks ago adorned the countryside in vibrant colors and tones. The fog seems to hide some mystery, some secret, deep in its heart. Yet, we’re not afraid. Change is inevitable, change can be good. Change is relentless.
As we look back at the farm from this vantage point, the grey tones from the skies give way to a touch of color. In the distance we see the vibrant colors of a new red barn, a haven to all the creatures that call this glorious place home. The reflections of the farm in the still waters serve as a metaphor, a mirroring of the life we live back to us. This is our sanctuary, this is our peaceful place while the world hurries on around us completely unaware of the obvious beauty that lies just beyond the windshield of a fast-moving car on the highway.
We try to engage the world we live in daily, to be thankful for the natural beauty and wonderful gifts that we find ourselves surrounded by. Never taking it for granted, the constantly evolving landscape forms part of our hearts and souls, and is something that seems to change almost every day, revealing more secrets as time passes.
It’s all around us, my friends, all we need to do is reach out to touch it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by for a visit today, we really appreciate it. We truly do love to hear from all our visitors and would like to encourage you to leave us any comments you may have. Until next time, cheers from the Toads!