Monday, February 7, 2011

Light and Shadows

Last Friday I went for a drive, hoping to enjoy the clear, sunny day.  I don't mind the clouds of winter generally, but I really felt the need to be outside in the sun that day.  The quality of the light was wonderful, and I took my camera so I could catch some pictures.

 Shadows on the Erie Canal, Canastota, NY.

Lately I find myself fascinated with shadows on snow.  (Maybe that's because that's a lot of what there is to see around here lately!)  I find both their shape and their color endlessly interesting.  Shadows on snow aren't just gray - they're often a soft periwinkle blue tone, or a deeper washed out navy shade, or a thousand varieties of lavender and aqua and slate and sky. I had to remind myself to keep my eyes on the road, because my gaze was often drawn to the shadows of trees and buildings sweeping across the fields under the morning sun.

These sumac stems look like modern sculpture to me, 
silhouetted against the field and the sky.

Not far from where I live is a little old cemetery on a back road.  It's a peaceful place, and I took a number of photos there.  This shot in particular stuck with me.  It appears to be a family - mother, father, and probably a child.  The mother's headstone indicates she died in 1855.  The carving is beautiful, but I didn't get up close to look - walking on the pristine blanket of snow just seemed wrong, and I left their resting place undisturbed. 

I don't find cemeteries to be creepy at all, but beautiful and sad, meditative and hopeful, serious and whimsical, all at the same time.  It's not a bad thing to be reminded of the beauty and brevity of life.

Finally, as I drove by a farm I saw a Clydesdale horse resting in the sun just outside their barn.  They looked so content, just standing there, soaking up the rays.  Ah, what bliss!   I could just imagine how good the warm light felt to them after days of staying in the barn or standing in the falling snow.