If you take a look at a map of average snowfall in Southern Ontario, you’ll see a dark blue spot in Grey County representing the highest level. That spot is Beaver Valley in general, and I’m strongly convinced, our farm in particular. Streamers regularly come down from Georgian Bay and get sucked in by the valley. Located at the top of Beaver Valley, at its tail’s end, we enjoy a very healthy deposit of snow each winter. Suffice it to say, the winter landscape is spiritual and beautiful. The sunrises and sunsets cast a colourful glitter on the pristine snow creating ever-changing scenes, each with a unique beauty of their own. Ice storms, although potentially dangerous and damaging, result in surrealistic landscapes where everything, natural or man-made, is encased in a sparkling sea of glass.
The winter of 2011-2012 was much milder than normal and with less snowfall than usual. Nonetheless, it was as beautiful as ever.
One very unique and rare experience for me was ice fog. Unlike ice crystals falling from the sky, ice fog results from fine ice crystals suspended in the air when the humidity is nearly 100% and it’s cold, cold, cold. The ice crystals then, very slowly and without notice, settle onto every surface. Camera in hand, I took a long walk on our farm through the ice fog. The sensation I remember most was the nearly complete absence of sound. Although I could hear my footfalls crunching the snow beneath, when I stood still to focus on a particular scene or to take a photograph, the stillness and quiet seemed to heighten my visual perception.
Because of the mild winter last year, the waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay are much warmer than usual. Farmers say that because of this, we’re expected to get a winter with record snowfalls for 2012-2013.
There are nine works in progress included in my Winter Gallery. Seven of these are unforgettable landscapes suspended in ice fog. Once I complete these, it’ll be perfect timing to start capturing the marvels of winter to come.
Farm Access Road in Ice Fog
Fence Line in Ice Fog
Burdocks in Ice Fog
Grasses in Ice Fog
Barn in Ice Fog
Farm Field in Ice Fog
Cedar Rail Fence in Ice Fog
Sunset Over Hill Farm