It’s a Love-Hate Thing…

Well, sort of, anyway. The past few years, I have found driving in the snow a bit annoying, especially when the weather is unexpected, the roads aren’t cleared, cars are in places they have no business being, and a one to one-and-a-quarter hour commute from work to home can take upwards of four. 

But I absolutely love the stark crystalline beauty of snow. Which I guess is the yin and yang in me. After all, how can I feel that way, when I am also so  enamored of flowers in riotous bloom, the gentle new green of Spring, the flaming colors of Autumn? I suppose it’s Nature that I love, in all its glory, even at its most overwhelming.

On my way  home from the post office/bank/grocery store early this frigid Saturday morning, I was complaining aloud about how cold I was as I clung to the steering wheel that somehow, impossibly, still felt like an ice cube in my hands despite the heat blasting so hard my eyeballs were turning to sawdust. I was grumbling and sour and using, as usual, language I would certainly avoid in company other than my own.

And then, I actually looked out of the car window.

And stopped, right there in the middle of the deserted, snow-covered road.

And got out, despite the temperature that had not yet topped ten degrees.

Because what I saw was beautiful.

Crossing the road on cold-numbed feet, I took the photo above with my phone, of the Hosensack Creek as it passes beneath the bridge on Schultz Bridge Road. (At least I believe it is the Hosensack at that point, and not one of the other numerous watercourses in this area–if anyone knows for certain otherwise, please enlighten me.) I stood there a while longer in contemplation of the grandeur Nature provides us. Though chilled, I no longer cared quite so much because, like the Grinch, my complaining, whining little heart grew ten times larger in those few moments. 

So I went home, stuck my tingling toes into a pair of actual snow boots, slipped on my ear muffs, and went for a walk. In my own yard, but a walk through the snow nevertheless. The below photos are of the Hosensack Creek as it runs though my property (and yes, I am at least positive it’s the Hosensack here).

I also took a photo of the little stream that runs perpendicular to the creek. As I stood beside it listening to the flowing water making its way through the ice, I realized it sounded like an enormous, clogged toilet constantly giving way. Not very romantic, but true. The sound made me laugh out loud before I headed back inside to warm up by the fireplace, realizing how very fortunate I am to have this world to live in.

The water level remains high on the Hosensack from all the precipitation of this past year (see “When the Levee Breaks” blog for an extreme example), but the bitter cold has wrought changes, causing the flow to stop in winter stillness on the surface, while moving on ceaselessly beneath.
Here you see the water still, quiet and icebound in the foreground, reflecting the trees unseen in this photo but, just beyond, the water tumbles against the bank, the roots and grasses snow-covered and dipping into the flow.
Above is the yard at the bottom of the hill, where normally one can walk this time of year. However, the water table has not receded and the underground springs are percolating up through the earth, creating this humped landscape of snow and ice.
Here is where I had to laugh. The water of the small stream was determined to get to the Hosensack and wasn’t letting a little icy blockage keep it from its destination. I’m not kidding when I say it sounded like a freed clog swirling down a huge drain.

Lehigh County – After the Rain

A short ride from my home (or an ambitious walk) is a view across the valley to the hills. In this photo the hills are blue with distance, although on sunny days one might find them green with the trees that clothe them. A short downpour had just ended as I arrived and I happily climbed from my car to photograph the scene. What I like most about this photo is the water droplets still clinging to the vegetation.

After the Rain

Rain makes changes to the environment, both subtle and extreme. In this photo, which I took following a brief but heavy downpour, one can still see the raindrops clinging to the hardy Queen Anne’s Lace with the rain clouds visible in the background. The earth looked refreshed and rejuvenated by the rainfall, and totally inviting. I could have remained there looking out over the valley for hours. 

Lehigh County – Into the Wild

As stated in my prior brief blog (Roadside Ferns – the photograph of which is above and will be used as the feature image for the Lehigh County blog), I am sharing the beauty and history of Lehigh and areas nearby. This photo is among my favorites, and was taken some years back right on my very own property.  Over time, nature’s cantankerous weather has changed the path of this creek which has been listed as one of the top ten pristine waterways in the county. Though the creek and the woods bordering it are still lovely, when I look at this photo I realize I will never see this scene as it is depicted here again. I’m glad I had the camera in my hand that day.

Into the Wild

This very primal scene of stark contrast depicts barren winter trees reflected in the pool created in Hosensack Creek by the land’s curve around a fallen ash tree. This photograph illustrates the wild beauty that can still be found.

Lehigh County – Roadside Ferns

I have decided to add to my regular blogging with an active photographic journal of my little section of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. I want to share the beauty and history of this place where I have been fortunate enough to reside for almost twenty years. I will even venture a little beyond Lehigh’s boundaries (photographically, I mean) to nearby areas where other scenes as picturesque and interesting can be found. However, I am starting with this photograph aptly titled “Roadside Ferns”.

roadsideferns

A walk down a local road provided this photographic opportunity, proving that beauty can be found nearly everywhere you look. These graceful fronds caught the sun in such a way as to display color from emerald green to the deepest hunter. Looking at this image, one might never guess that I was crouching on blacktop and a mailbox stood only feet away awaiting rural delivery.