The Story of Spring 2015 43.167° N, 76.33° W.

So fellow travelers,  I am currently taking an online photography class from CGBF photo guru Jeff Anderson. The classes I gifted myself with last year pushed me out of “auto” mode and gave me the basic photoshop skills I needed to make steady progress with my Canon DSLR.  This class is assignment based;  Jeff gives us a themed assignment, we shoot, he guides and critiques, we learn. His assignments are always challenging, designed to get us to step outside our individual boxes and stretch our techniques. I refer back to the notes from previous classes whenever one of my own photo expeditions doesn’t quite produce the results I was seeking.

I look forward to the assignments but I must admit the current one has been a bit of a bummer:

Spring Equinox!  Today (the assignment was posted last Friday) is the first day of spring. With anywhere from one to four pictures (NO MORE THAN FOUR!) Tell us the story of spring’s arrival where you are. 

Use the whole weekend, maybe into Monday. Let the pix tell your story, no words necessary. “

I spirits sank as I looked out the window where a fresh cloud of Lake Effect snow was sugar coating the little quilt squares of grass that dared emerge so soon and beautifying ugly black speckled roadside snowbanks. Ummmm, yeah. I have a whole folder full of pretty snow pictures, I have yet to see a robin anywhere on my walking routes and I just don’t imagine emerging frozen dog poop will look photogenic. ( I tried; it wasn’t)

I posted a comment on the assignment page that my photos might bear a stronger resemblance to a collection of Christmas Cards and Jeff responded it doesn’t have to look like spring, just tell the story ( without words) of springs arrival in our respective areas. Armed with his encouragement I decided to bundle up and get started.

So for the past three days, I headed out at different times (with hopes the flat grey light would yield different qualities….it didn’t) for about an hour of finger chilling photo journaling of the 2015 Vernal Equinox at 43.167° N, 76.33° W.

My first day’s find was the pattern of new fallen snow on the back porch snow shovel

IMG_2458           IMG_2460


but when I tried to use the macro mode to capture super close ups of the tiny flakes I wasn’t able to access the setting.  It would take too long to unlace my boots to trudge upstairs to find my camera manual. I moved on.



A combination of warmer temps, sunshine ( yes it does happen here occasionally) and strong wind gusts followed by an overnight freeze last weekend has trapped  my pond “percolator” at an odd angle.  I have left it running, because if one looks closely one can see the heated tube is just warm enough to create a sliver of open water around it.  That will have to suffice for the fish (there are survivors, we’ve seen them swimming below the surface of the ice) until the pond really thaws.

Day two was a wash, it started with a swirling white out which changed to rain by mid morning. I was on the road by then anyway to help crew the drumline show and would not be back until after dark.

So although this morning dawned grey and snowy I headed outside once more for Day Three of my quest.

See?  More like Christmas than spring.


My garden reindeer still frolicking in the snow.

Yes those lights still come on at night. I can’t get to the outlet to unplug the timer.




The only birds to be found were the little fellows perched on St Francis.  They change color depending on the ambient humidity (blue is low, pink is air-con time) Do that count as “blue” birds of spring? I did find his shot at the big feeder.




I consider this my most successful image.  I wish there had been better light to make the snow sparkle more, but I am pleased with the shot; other than the addition of the signature this is SOC.

I had brought a bucket of seed to refill the feeder with me. When I was done, I finally found what I was looking for.

The one little signature of Spring, quietly waiting to be noticed in the debris under the Mountain Laurel bush.




End of Story….

Or on second thought  a New Beginning

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

Deborah H Rahalski

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