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...

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

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3 days 15 hours

Looking forward to seeing your new adventures!

4 days 17 hours

Hi, The best time to visit starts around May Long Weekend. Before, most is still frozen or too cold. There is no entrance fee ...

Judy Moffat
5 days 5 hours

When is the best time to tour and is there a entrance fee

6 days 8 hours

Henk! I guess I haven't been following things as closely as usual. This is a surprise. I think you will love the east coast. ...

6 days 10 hours

Wishing all the best on the new horizons Henk!

6 days 13 hours

It has been so wonderful to get to know you and your wonderful family over the years. I will always remember evenings out wit ...

Michelle Perron
25 days 5 hours

Hi there, Having grown up in Northern Manitoba (Snow Lake to be exact), your nature sound recordings bring me right back ...

1 month 3 days

I'd join you!

Ken Krueger
1 month 7 days

Luckily I own a cottage at Big Whiteshell lake, and have frequented the Big Whiteshell Lodge and met the new owners two years ...

1 month 11 days

Thank you for sharing your story & Im glad you are better & looked into ways to improve your health ie B12. I taught diet/lif ...