First snow of winter

First snowfall of winter 2009

There are only two occasions here in Ontario when snow is a novelty: the very first snow of the year, regardless of how light or heavy; and the heavy snowstorms that leave two feet of clean white palette blanketing your yard. The rest of the winter, snow is simply regarded as a nuisance for most people, or a recreational opportunity for a few others. But the wonder and excitement over a few snowflakes wears off quickly for anyone in a cold-winter region.

First snowfall of winter 2009

Yesterday morning we experienced the first occasion, and so I went out with my camera to take photos. The first snowfall of the year; we woke up to a light frosting that had settled overnight.

First snowfall of winter 2009

It was interesting that you could see there had been a bit of a breeze while it was falling; it had created virtual shadows in the snow on the ground as it piled up against hummocks of leaves or grass, or was blocked by things like the bird feeder.

First snowfall of winter 2009

The complex structure of the gardens made for some interesting snowy patterns.

First snowfall of winter 2009

A johnny-jump-up, coated in snow. This brave plant has continued to bloom and bloom, long after the other garden plants have given up summer for dead. It lives by the motto, “fight till your dying day”. Which will come soon for it, I’m sad to say. Fortunately, they’re perennials; they’ll be back next year. And probably stronger than ever. This was one of a bunch of seedlings given to me by our neighbour at the lake, back in the spring.

First snowfall of winter 2009

The snow actually persisted all day, despite above-freezing temperatures, and into this morning. By this afternoon it had all melted. Last night I was out taking a few photos of the moon for my mom with my DSLR camera set up on a tripod for 20-second exposures, and while I was out there I took a few of the yard and the snow, as well.

Full moon on snow

The spruce trees cast shadows on the snow. I love that when you take a photo of the sky at night out here, it actually comes out blue, instead of the horrible pinkish-orange that you’d get back in the Greater Toronto Area. No people = no light pollution. One of many things I’m loving about eastern Ontario.

Full moon on house

The house at Tay Meadows, aglow at night. Look at that gorgeous, rich blue sky. This one’s better at full size.

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12 responses to “First snow of winter

  1. The house looks very inviting. Winter is not my favourite season yet the first snow is always special. I am glad it came later this year. We had our first measurable snow yesterday too.

  2. Seems like a good time for snow as we had our first dusting overnight and expect perhaps a wee bit more in the next few days.

    The house photo really is spectacular. Very inviting indeed. But I especially love the “hanging on untill the bitter end” feel of the johnny-jump-up photo. The last spot of color holding its own against the cold…

    • Snow in Texas already? I would’ve thought even at higher altitudes it would still fall later in the year than it does up here.

      That johnny-jump-up was a delightful surprise, I haven’t looked at my garden in a while.

  3. Some lovely photos. You’re right. First snow is neat.

  4. I envy your blue night sky! You’d think that here in the Adirondacks, the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi (in the US), we’d have an equally dark sky at night, but noooo. All my long exposures yielded that orange hue you talked about. It’s very sad. Still, if one gets way into the back country, perhaps a shot straight up into the sky, with no horizon, would show no orange. Maybe.

    • I’m surprised that even up in the mountains you still get so much light pollution, Ellen, but I guess there are quite a few more people throwing out quite a bit more light south of the border than there are up here. It’s a hard thing to appreciate without having the experience of seeing a sky without light pollution.

  5. We had our first snow a month ago, but it seems to have been very isolated. I hear this was the first time on record that Toronto didn’t get snow in November.

    • Yeah, but you live up near the snow belt. It’s all petered out by the time the system makes it this far east. ;)

      Huh, hadn’t heard that. Hope that’s not a sign of bad things to come.

  6. The picture of the Johnny Jump Up is beautiful. I have neither flower nor snow in my yard. Thank you for sharing. hugs from HW

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