I hate winter, I always have. Everything I like to do outdoors is more fun in the spring, summer, or fall. I used to love to catch bugs and snakes (I still sort of do I guess), you can’t do that in the winter. I like to fly-fish, you can do it in the winter, but it ain’t that fun. I like to watch birds (o.k., you can do that in the winter and it’s pretty good, but it’s more enjoyable in the spring, summer and fall). I also like to photograph, which can be wonderful in the winter, but it’s much less comfortable and there’s a lot less daylight.
Over the last couple of years though, I’ve figured out a couple of things that almost make the arctic death of a Rexburg winter tolerable.
1. I watch more television, which is usually pretty good in winter.
2. I love to drive farm roads in the winter and photograph landscapes that don’t contain any subject matter. O.k., there’s some subject matter, but it’s pretty minimal – snow and sky. I also like to drive these roads looking for odd arctic birds such as Gyrfalcons, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, Snowy Owls, Rough-legged Hawks, Rosy-Finches, and Redpolls that choose to winter in the area. You’ve got to be pretty hard-core to choose Rexburg as a winter home.
3. I’ve recently been intrigued by night photography. Night photography in winter has a couple of advantages over night photography in the summer. First of all, it gets darker much earlier in the winter, so I can photograph for several hours in the dark and be home by ten o’clock. Second, the snow on the ground and the frost in the air bounce and hold much more light than conditions in the summer. Exposure times are usually much shorter, and night photographs can almost look like they were taken during the day. I guess there is one drawback – it’s really cold.
Anyway, here are a couple photographs I made this week.
Snowy Field #1, Walker, ID 2006
Snowy Field #2, Walker, ID 2006
Russian Olive at Night, Rexburg, ID 2006