Snow White and her seven dwarfs and their characters have had a good time this year. Even Happy will have had his prime time. But Grumpy was the busiest. Judging by the angry posts on Social Media about everything and its grandmother, Grumpy must have had field days galore.

Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

I know that this wretched year is not even over yet, but I’m thinking about it to end soon.

When it started, I jokingly sent out “Happy New Year ZOZO !” to my friends. Little was I to know what was going to be unleashed upon us by the year. “ZOZO” was a stylised way of writing 2020, and in Dutch this translates to “so-so”… So-so it was, for sure. But hey, we are still allowed to go out in nature and get some vital vitamin D. Even if going out with friends is discouraged.

Birds Hill Park

Birds Hill Park

The lead picture was taken before this pandemic went batsh!t crazy in March. We were still allowed to go out with people, hang out anywhere and take pictures anywhere. When the season is snowy, there is no way to avoid the pictures of frosty landscapes. To be honest (as I am always!), I like those pictures a lot. While snow and no greenery make for fairly drab pictures, there is always something that stands out. Like in the panorama above. See those clouds roll in?

Great Grey Owl

Great Grey Owl

Other times, only the movement of a bird catches the eye. A Great Grey Owl hunting for a vole or something. One has to be quick to adjust camera settings and get the shot. Hunting of these birds happens in bursts. They can sit still for ages, turning only their heads, and then burst out of the tree, fly to their prey, dive into the snow, come up again and swallow it whole on the ground. Then they return to the same spot, usually, and sit still for ages again.

Birds Hill Park

Birds Hill Park

The stillness of a forest is something to behold. While in the other seasons, the leaves are always rustling in the wind, winter offers total silence. Now, all we can hear is our own heartbeat and breathing. The odd animal scurrying through the undergrowth might even startle you.

Elkhorn Resort Stables, Riding Mountain National Park

Elkhorn Resort Stables, Riding Mountain National Park

But to be sure everything is quiet, the night is the best time to go out in the winter. It is bets to take a tripod with you but, well, who wants to walk around with those all the time… Not me, for sure. The above pictures was shot from a small fencepost in the landscape. At the time, the composition was not exactly spot on, but happily we can crop pictures nowadays.

Ghostly Campground

Ghostly Campground

For those who want to stay longer in the quiet place, camping might be an option. Somehow I’m thinking that a stay on this campground is a bit iffy, I’m not sure why. If the sign cannot be maintained, what is the rest of that campground going to look like? I haven’t tried it out. I’m also not sure what season the sign is designed for Smile.

Union Point Church, HWY #75

Union Point Church, HWY #75

Quietness can also be found in far-away churches, like this Union Point Church. Well, sort of. It is located between the two lanes of Highway 75 going from Winnipeg into the USA. I guess that nowadays it will be very quiet there. Pandemics should serve at least some purpose.

Big Whiteshell Lake

Big Whiteshell Lake

But what about Snow White in here? Well, this year, she seems a bit shy, yet menacing enough (or promising enough). Here, the threat of more snow is more than real. The lake is already frozen over, already snow-covered, yet the sky promises much more to come. But hey, this is 2020, it can also just as easily blow over and melt away.

Snow White has a lot of work to do here, even if this is the land of Snow and Ice for most of the year.

It is obvious that Snow White will soon enough be renamed to “Old Man Winter” or even “Grandfather Frost” (“Дід Мороз”), making the season a lot less friendly. I will still be taking pictures and be posting them here.

Until next time…

PS: Insights on these pictures to be published on Friday, Dec 4...

Sursohog
---Great Blog again Henk - well done..

Want to leave a comment?

1000 Characters left


Henk
1 month 2 days

It's the National Geographic Fieldguide to Birds of North America

Art
1 month 2 days

Thank you. I saw these birds at my feeder today and wondered what they were. Could you tell me the title of the bird book you ...

Sursohog
1 month 17 days

---Great Blog again Henk - well done..

Henk
2 months 30 days

Thanks :) !

sursohog
3 months

---Very nice Blog Henk - some nice shots there...-:)

Henk
3 months 4 days

Presets can speed up your workflow a lot, provided you have plenty of the same type of pictures. People doing weddings will a ...

Henk
3 months 4 days

Hi, I hadn't noticed that the typing colour was that dark... changed it to pure white, that should do it ... Henk

'Dan..
3 months 4 days

I certainly agree the use of presets will discourage people learning their own methods but they can offer a shortcut to fulfi ...

Henk
3 months 25 days

Well, I was told so by a "pro" that later recanted... :-) I removed the name, so at least it is now correct.

josie brendle
3 months 26 days

nice blog but sorry the horses are not Clydesdales. Those are a little bigger. :)