The first snow fell on the forsythia bush last week. I posted the first bloom of the forsythia about a week ago. We have another snow in the forecast this week. It shouldn’t be long before the 3rd snow. If the wives tale holds true, winter will then end.
The inevitable has happened. It’s January 5th, it’s 23 degrees, it’s snowing. No surprise, just bewildering.
By the time this posts, It will be later in the month and probably colder.
A Cold January Day
How To Get Through It
When friends come from warmer climates, they often ask, “How the hell do you live like this?”. In Ohio, that’s the easier answer is to just wait it out. It never seems to be that long until the weather reverts to something that isn’t painful.
As I age, I get more wisdom on these matters. Have projects. Keeping your mind busy is important. Writing, computer work, editing photos, and other indoor hobbies work.
Cabin fever is going to happen no matter what. For that, toughen up. Go outside. Walk and take photos. Go see a friend. Go have a beer. Forget that it’s miserable for a little while and just go. I have to do go out more than others.
Enjoy the atmosphere too. Snow deadens sound, so enjoy the quiet. The light is different. The speed of everything is slower. It’s a magical thing that just weather can change your world like this.
Last year’s goal was a success. I quit smoking. It was a difficult thing for me. Quitting only happened after numerous failures. Those failures taught me enough to understand what I was up against so that I could overcome the problem. Success is a great thing after a struggle.
This year I have another goal that starts here.
I’m starting this goal here on the trail at Blackhand Gorge. I learned from previous successes not to talk much about goals. Do them. Talking about them gives you a false sense of actually achieving them and gives you an early fail.
I won’t talk about them, but I’ll show the work in progress.
Tonight I went for a little ride during a “level 1 snow emergency”. Yes, that’s what they call it when you can still drive without problems, very few accidents on the road, and only spotty power outages. I’m not sure how the fit “emergency” into that equation, but I do know it drives milk and bread sales.
To me, a level 1 snow emergency meant to grab my camera. It was so beautiful out.
I’m not a medical person by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to wonder if they may be misdiagnosing Seasonal Affective Disorder to some degree. From my observations, depression and anxiety greatly increases in people around me with the bullshit calls to weather alerts that are nothing to be alarmed about. They provide no reassurance that very few people will die from a few inches of snow and that if you take the time to venture out into it, you’ll experience a beautiful world that you haven’t seen for quite a few months.
The official first day of winter is December 21st. I’m not a weather purist(or much of any type of purist for that matter) though, so the first day for me is when it’s damn cold and there’s enough snow to turn the ground white and stay for a while. In Ohio, often predicting that day is a difficult thing. You may even have that day, multiple times. For me though, I make the transition to winter on that first day.
What this means for me is a consistent change in plans. Outdoor activities are a little more limited. The motorcycles get some attention in the garage. Some indoor projects get started. A new resolution might get some early traction. Yes, a few years, I’ve actually came through with my New Year resolution. This year, I quit smoking, so it’s a big one.
So if I quit smoking this year, anyone who’s quit can probably already knows exactly what the resolution for this year will be. I don’t even want to talk about it. I’ll just do it.
As for my photography, bring the snow on! I’m always ready for it. It’s like nature’s Photoshop filter. Everything looks different and it’s a new challenge every year. I can’t wait. It’s one of the things I do to keep the winter from dragging my spirits down.
This photo is one of my top favorites for the Winter of 2016.
I’ve spotted it while driving by many times before, but the snow and the evening sky made it perfect. I had my wife watch for traffic coming behind us, grabbed the camera and shot out the drivers window.
It was exciting to see the capture come to life as I opened it in Photoshop and began to manipulate it into what my mind seen.