Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Winter Album

winter afternoon by Teckelcar
winter afternoon, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I have a lot of pictures to share so this post is going to be more of a photo album of a few of my favorite pictures from our trip up north.

Every year we slog up north during the school system's winter break. It usually runs about two weeks which gives us more than enough time to travel, visit family, and recover. My mom thinks we are a bit crazy to do all that traveling during the winter time. However, winter in Virginia is for the most part lame and this gives our children a taste of what real winter is like.

This year there wasn't much snow on the ground when we first showed up at my mother's house in VT, but that night we got a dusting of snow. I love the clean white of the snow contrasting with the dark trees and their shadows.

snow bunny by Teckelcar
snow bunny, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
I also like this little statue of a bunny that is on my mother's deck. I thought it looked so cute partially surrounded with the little patches of drifted snow. As I recall I wasn't wearing proper footwear (slippers perhaps?) and I didn't want to step down into the snow. So I squatted down and stuck my camera in front of the bunny and snapped a picture. I think it came out rather well! I did not do a thing to the picture except titling it and that really doesn't count.

Of course we didn't spend all our time at my mom's house. She did have some snow, but it wasn't enough to go sledding on.

looking east by Teckelcar
looking east, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Instead of going to the park down the street with it's snowless hill, we went to my cousin's house. His house is about 20 minutes north of my mother's home and he got a bit more snow. He also has a rather epic sledding hill in the fields adjacent to the house. We wee invited up to go sledding and we gladly accepted the offer.

The drive was a bit more exciting than I would have liked. I did a half-assed job tying the toboggan down and guess what happened. The dang thing flipped off the van and skidded across the road. Fortunately no other cars were behind us and the the oncoming traffic was sparse enough that they avoided the sled. I quickly pulled over and hustled down the road to collect our wayward toboggan.

Larry by Teckelcar
Larry, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Remarkably it was unharmed by it's misadventure. I was able to stuff the other sleds in the rocket box on top of the van, but the toboggan was too long. In the end we stuffed it inside the van with us. It was a tight fit, particularly for Nate (he was such a trooper), but we made it work. The rest of the drive was far less exciting and we finished it in due time.

The view from the hill was spectacular and I got some great shots of the mountains to the east. It was a crisp bright day and the snow was loose powder. The sledding wasn't perfect, but we all had a great time.

Are we high enough by Teckelcar
Are we high enough, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
We never made quite to the tippy top of the hill. The field wasn't as well mown up there and as a result there was a fair amount of dried out plants poking through the snow cover. You can see it in this picture. Larry and Max ventured up into it on the broad path where the snow was a bit smoother. I think it was about 4/5ths the way up the hill. plenty far enough for a good long run.

Another of my cousins showed up to visit and she expressed a little concern about how far up were going. I told her that the kids were fairly experienced and had enough sense to know when to bail. There were a few fence posts to avoid, but not roads to worry about. I was perfectly happy to send them up the hill.

winter field by Teckelcar
winter field, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
And speaking of fence posts, they are featured in one of my favorite shots. This particular line ran parallel to where we were sledding. I noticed them as I was trudging along and loved how the fence line mirrored the slope of the distant hills. I had a lot of fun composing the shot in the viewfinder and I proud to say it, along with the rest of the pictures in this post, is straight out of the camera. No tweaking of adjusting was necessary. Just download to my computer and post.

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