The Triumph Of Blowing Snow

FTLComm - Tisdale - January 25, 2001
In our minds eye, do we think of snow as white? I wonder about that because of course snow is not white at all but without colour as it takes on whatever shade of light passes through or onto it. As I took these pictures yesterday afternoon with the temperature a very endurable -12C I sensed other times when other scenes like this have been my reality and how usually I remember them as being much colder, much harsher and much bluer and more gray.

As a youth after school in that short patch of daylight and dark I would take my dad's old "22" and wade out along the railway tracks perhaps I would say I was hunting but I never shot at anything alive, mostly I was the deadly hunter of rocks, stumps and mostly I came back with the same amount of ammunition with which I left. But on those walks it was the wind and snow, the light and the shadows that were my communion. A strolling form of meditation and always it was cold. But you know, cold isn't bad, it is just another challenge, a fact of life.

Once these little structures stored the results of a years farming, when the farm was a quarter section or two, today they are relics, reminders or remnants of what once was, landmarks of farms that were, indicators of where people once lived and walked out across the prairie to pick off an unsuspecting stone protruding through the crusted winter snow cover.

High winds roar by moving the snow ahead of them like bulldozers. But light sneaky deceptive winds just work their way along the ground picking up snow crystals tossing them along and dropping them behind a parked field implement or fence post or foot step of a rock hunter. These little winds flood the ditches, creep snow onto roadways and impede vehicular movement. Rural municipal graders work their way through farm fields building ridges to trap the sneaky snow and hold it back from the roads but it is unstoppable.
Where ever water freezes and snow falls and the wind blows nature triumphs, it takes charge, forms and reforms space and perhaps even time. Thoughts of a past, dreams of a future now arrived, hopes and wishes, fragments of reality lost in the crunch of each footstep, as each footstep itself leaves a mark but only for a minute or two before it is softly absorbed into a new reality. Fleeting fragments of ice crystals, fluid invisible air, golden light, purple transparent shadows sliding beneath the moving invisible snow crystals, caught in the minds eye, recorded in an image but utterly and totally transient