Shades of January

I've composed a lot of compelling stories this month... in my head that is. Whether I've been driving, shoveling snow, doing laundry, or watching The Great British Bake Off on the telly, the words have been there. It's just when I've sat down at the keyboard or with a pen, my mind has shut off. What's worse is my inability to get excited about taking photos right now. There are just so many fog banks, or snowy fields, or grey days you can snap a shot of before wanting to go indoors and hibernate until the sun comes out. Despite all that, I've taken photos. And then I've downloaded them on to my computer and left them there, pretty much untouched, until now. I know I've taken more photos with my cell phone - of Peach, or Porter, or what kind of tea I happen to be drinking any given afternoon - than I have pressed the shutter button on my Canon. I'm thrilling the Instagram crowd for sure. January has been a collection of days with varying degrees of grey skies. The world, my friends, is flat. My enthusiasm feels the same.

I did, however, give myself the assignment of producing one more blog post before February arrives. Even a lack-luster January deserves some sort of recognition and I need to wrap it up and put it away. It's been a bit high-school-English-class painful producing this, but I'm just looking for a passing grade with this post. (Okay, so maybe it isn't as bad as having to read and then watch The Old Man and the Sea - sorry Hemingway fans - and I can be grateful for the little things.) This particular "essay" is my version of Fifty Shades of Grey... in Winter

Above: Beautiful ice formations from the splashing waves on Okanagan Lake. Below: More chilling beauty along the shore of Okanagan Lake. 

During the month of January, I have been to Okanagan Lake, Christina Lake, the Granby River, and the Kettle River to take photos. This range from Lake Country, BC to Kettle Falls, WA is approximately 300 kilometers by way of highway driving.  It's all within easy reach from where I call home in the Boundary Region and it is a beautiful corridor of nature - when you can see it (did I mention all the fog?). As I was looking through my January photos, I realized that without my own knowledge of where I took them, it's pretty tough to distinguish location. Features seem lost in a two-dimensional world of muted colour. The darker tones create a moodiness that I can appreciate, though, and is necessary in the balance of life. You could say it's the yin (shady side) to the yang (sunny side). 

So go ahead and break out the tea yourself in order to keep warm while looking at these. Again, it's the little things and I enjoy any excuse for a cuppa! 

Top two photos taken from Stephens Coyote Ridge trail in Kelowna, BC. Above photo is looking north up the Kettle River from where it starts to enter Lake Roosevelt in Kettle Falls, WA.

You might think I dislike winter from my words here, but that's not true. I enjoy the quiet and cool beauty this season brings, I just happen to like seeing the sun on a more regular basis and that hasn't been the case in far too long. I'm hoping February will do something about that. Otherwise, as of publishing date, we are 30 days into winter with 59 days still left before spring officially starts. Just saying...

 
Picnic tables waiting for the spring melt - Christina Lake, BC.

Picnic tables waiting for the spring melt - Christina Lake, BC.

 

Cold yet? I told you to get a cup of tea. The good news is that even though the skies remain grey, we are getting above freezing temps. Snow is melting. Getting outside is part of the cure for the mid-winter blahs and I've done my best so far. Fresh air can be quite fulfilling and uplifting. Once in a while it's good to just go and explore in whatever direction you choose. You never know what, or who, you'll find.

cow in snow
 

Above: Lonely cow, lonely tree, rural Boundary Region-style.

 

And sometimes, heading into the grey, you will stumble upon what you least expected. Like maybe a little blue sky and sunshine... hiding out in a valley not commonly traversed. An opportunity to view the world three dimensional again.

All three photos: Teetering on the edge of the Granby Wilderness - North Fork Road, Grand Forks, BC.

I had to leave you with a happy ending. Now, onward into February!