As I look over my photos taken since the beginning of the year, I am appalled by their sameness. There doesn't seem to be anything special. Then I made the mistake of looking over photos from last year or just previous years at around the same time and there just doesn't seem to be the same richness or diversity in the images.
The weather. Instead of having consistent days of temperatures in the teens to twenties in Wisconsin, we've had erratic temperature variations. We may have snow on the ground for a day or two, then the temperature rises to uncharacteristically warm amounts and the snow melts. There just doesn't seem much inspiring about brown grass and brownish black tree trunks. The zest for color and variety that is usually a part of Wisconsin's winter just doesn't seem to be there.
And then the temperature plummets. It's cold and no snow on the ground. It causes you to think twice about even venturing outside.
I decided to scan my photos one more time on an especially bleak day. To my amazement, there is a whole host of wonderful photos. I just have to be more open minded about the ones that have potential and represent something different and exciting to me. Most importantly are the wonderful "moments" that I caught with my camera and can re-live as I review them often.
This first photo was on one of those warm days. The ice sculpturing activities happened when the temperature was nearer to zero than I like. I took note that there were some wonderful sculptures in the downtown area, but didn't take a walk to seriously photograph them until the temperature was a little above freezing. On my walk, I discovered that the high temperatures had destroyed most of the sculptures that were in the sun. They were just broken pieces or melting bases.
The ones in the shade, however, were still in good shape. This particular sculpture of a woman was even enhanced by the presence of a red carnation. I took several photos while across the street in-between the cars and then crossed the street to take even more. I was amazed by the amount of detail and how much of the "ice" was still present. And the rising temperature gave it a bit of a glow that was enhanced by the brownish building in the background.
And then there were many walks along the Fox River trail that resulted in many beautiful views of the Eagles. Eagles hovering and catching a draft in the skies. Eagles roosting and munching down part of their catch from the river. Eagles in their nest. Always a thrill to see these wonderful, majestic birds, and to realize that they've made a comeback to our area.
On this particular day, it was a wonderful experience to observe this Eagle watching for the right moment to swoop down to catch a fish on the Fox River.
And then there is some serendipity that leads to interesting shots. Fortunately I always have some sort of camera with me. I was actually running an errand and saw the colors starting to form. My vantage point wasn’t that great so I considered close-by locations. There were a number of power lines that tainted the colorful display that was unfolding.
I realized that a pretty good vantage point was close by called Waverly Beach. I had taken photos there just the other day and the way the sunset was lining up, it seemed like it would be perfect to capture the color without power lines or building structures in the way.
I quickly drove to Waverly Beach, hoping that the stop lights would be in my favor instead of causing me to miss the color. I turned into the driveway and looked backwards to see if the light was still colorful and was pleased to see that it was but fading fast. I had to quickly take these shots. As I got out of my car, I love the way that the clouds reflected the color of the sunset. And having the two cars with their headlights on while on the ice of Lake Winnebago really adds to the experience. As quickly as I captured the couple of photos, then I watched the colors quickly fade. Ephemeral, but the wonderful memory is captured in my mind's eye as well as in this photo below.
There are many more. I realized that this winter did have some photo gems. Sometimes it just takes a review on a dismal day to really appreciate some of the wonderful photo moments that I've had this year thus far.