Last weekend saw the biggest snowstorm of the season in Milwaukee. As usual, I wanted to get out and enjoy the pleasures that snow can provide while falling! Then, I went out afterwards to see how snow and wind had reshaped the landscape.
It is always a challenge to try to recapture the experience of a snowstorm, as engrossing – and hard to capture in photos – as it is. But I took photos to try to capture the feel of different parts of the storm, so here goes another attempt…
Walking downtown, I had the chance to feel amidst both the wildness of snow, and the dramatic forms of some of the larger buildings in Milwaukee. A lot of history and design, a lot of snow visible in the air.
I enjoy taking a look at landmarks with snow also as part of the scene. What gets blurred in the distance? How can one feel encased in a kind of limited-snow-globe-world, where after a certain point, all that appears to exist is a wall of snowy blur?
It was also fun to see others out in the snow, including a surprising-to-me number of bikers.
Whenever I see light in winter – moon, sun, street – I look for the sharp play of shadows on the boldly white snow.
How do patterns intersect, as tree shadows fall across drift patterns, with their subtle abstractions and tiny shadows?
The next day, as the sun rose, this combination of patterns was even sharper.
Remember that you can find such drift patterns in all kinds of places. Wherever there’s a yard with trees on it. Or in this case – at the rest area off the highway near Lomira!
This stunning glimpse at the intricacy of drift patterns also came from that rest area. The scale doesn’t need to be great to find how wind can whip subtle changes in elevation, and who knows what else into a surprising variety of elegance. And these patterns might soon change, so take a glimpse at the patterns each day brings.
I was struck by the power of long shadows cast across fields as the sun rose. I admit, though, that I couldn’t get a picture of that. So how about we just take a glance at the above photo… and remember the times that we’ve seen trees’ shadows stretching far, turning entire fields into an array of contrasts? Eventually, I’ll get the pictures I’m looking for, and then I’ll share those 😉
Then, to finish where I started… another way to envision the movement of the storm. The grasses (and the trees behind them) have fresh accumulation from the snow. They also are pulled around, bent over, by the wind. Again – get outside, look around at various objects in the landscape, and let me know what you find! The blizzard can truly only be experienced from within, but it is still fun to focus one’s attention on aspects of it that one can remember later.
(All photos by and copyright Jeff Filipiak.)