Snowy Interlude

Snow comes and goes quickly in the Pacific Northwest, and here in the lowlands, it is more likely a delightful distraction than a dreadful inconvenience. We had a bit of snow last month, so before Spring is upon us, I thought I would post some photos of it. They were all taken at home.

Winter Retreat

All the colors snow lends

the landscape: palest gray, soft violet, smudged

dull green, luminous

buff….they comprise the dustings,

the coatings, the thought coverings, to

bloom in the























The photos:

  1. Footprints on the sidewalk, from the window upstairs. This is not snow, it is graupel, an unusual (for us anyway) weather phenomenon that looks like granular snow, halfway between snow and hail. My German readers will be pleased to know I have learned the German word graupel, since we don’t seem to have an English one. Danke, Deutsch Sprache! The photo was taken with a Samsung phone, and processed in Lightroom, beginning with a Lightroom B&W preset.
  2. The ravine behind our building from my third floor deck, taken after a snowy night, at 7:25am. Olympus OMD EM1 camera with Olympus 45mm f1.8 lens. Processed in Silver Efex Pro and Lightroom.
  3. Three tree trunks in the graupel! Taken in the parking lot with a Samsung phone, processed in Silver Efex Pro and Lightroom.
  4. The sun lights up the woods after a snowfall. Taken from the third floor deck with with the OMD EM1 and 45mm f1.8 lens (at f4.5). Processed in Lightroom. The tree in the right foreground is an English holly (Ilex aquifolium), a species that has become invasive in Pacific northwest forests. Under these hollies, shade is dense and few native plants thrive.
  5. Another view of the woods taken from the third floor deck with the OMD EM1 and 45mm f1.8 lens (at f4.5). Processed in Color Efex Pro and Lightroom.
  6. Sun lights up the woods. Taken from inside, through a window. Camera and processing same as above.
  7. Two of our native Douglas fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii) with an understory of invasive Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) and the native, graceful Sword fern (Polystichum munitum). Taken from the third floor deck with the OMD EM1 &Β  45mm f1.8 lens (at f4.5). Processed in Color Efex Pro and Lightroom.Β 
  8. and 9. A potted Jasmine plant on the deck with spots of snow on its leaves. Both photos taken with the OMD EM1 and 45mm f1.8 lens, at f2.8. Photo #7 was processed in Color Efex & Lightroom, #8 in Lightroom only.

Speaking of snow, best wishes to my east coast USA friends, who are dealing with a gnarly nor-easter this weekend. Thousands of flights cancelled, power outages – all the usual fun!Β  And my friends in Europe had it worse, as a wickedly cold Siberian system caused deaths in at least ten different European countries, as well as the UK (Oh, the UK is part of Europe? I forgot, my brain was Brexited!) Maybe photos of snow and graupel aren’t what you want to see right now….I guess Spring can’t come soon enough!


  1. Hahaha, glad to hear your brain is Brexited!!! Best way to be – and the more the EU leaders are heavy and aggressive towards the UK, the more I’m certain that we are exactly right in getting the hell out of the EU!

    My favourites here are 1, 3, 4 and 9 and, as always, it very good to read about your capture/processing methods. We have had a very short and sharp snowy + freezing spell here and, as usual, it has caused havoc and catastrophe – and people are discussing what will be done next time this occurs to prevent this, and next time we shall have the havoc and catastrophe all over again! πŸ˜€

    • Apparently it is, but not widely. Maybe that’s because it doesn’t happen often. In any case, I’m so glad you appreciated the inclusion of the word – it was a really fascinating phenomenon. I only wish I’d gotten some close-ups of it.

  2. Lovely shots, but..fed up with the stuff now, whole country disrupted, we cannot deal with snow….UK is part of Europe and always will be! The xenophobic attitudes allowed to be aired are so SAD and upsetting.

  3. We got the ‘Beast from the East’ over here in the UK, as the papers called it. Major problems in some areas, but where I live in West Sussex just a light dusting. I’m a little disappointed about that, not that I wanted to be ‘snowed in’. I have failed dismally to find anything worth capturing apart from footprints this morning. Some great images, Lynn, your work never disappoints.

    • So I heard…and I can understand being disappointed. Whenever I hear we may have snow, I imagine the photos I might take, and sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. Even when it does snow and I take pictures, looking back, I’m not usually so happy with them. I think we all do better at subjects we photogrpah often. For that reason, I appreciate your compliment, Andy, thanks!

      • “Whenever I hear we may have snow, I imagine the photos I might take, and sometimes, it just doesn’t happen.” Even when it does snow and I take pictures, looking back, I’m not usually so happy with them.”

        My experience too. Sometimes I don’t even take pictures.

        I’m not sure it’s the rarity of the experience though as much as the challenge of producing something interesting when everything is blanketed by white.
        Also, the physical discomfort of being out in the freezing, wet, cold doesn’t exactly encourage patience and creative exploration — at least for those of us living below the Arctic Circle πŸ™‚

      • The discomfort is no small factor! But theoretically, I imagine it might be less of a challenge if everything is blanketed with white, because things are simplified. You could pick out compositions more easily. Anyway, in the insanely botanically busy world I live in, that’s what I imagine. But you’ve got a good point.

  4. Wonderful snow captures, Lynn. The Norwegian language doesn’t have a word for graupel neither, so they have adopted the German graupel. πŸ™‚ It just started to snow in Norfolk when I left so I missed all the fun of being snowed in. In the south-east part of Norway we have less snow, but plenty of ice and freezing temperatures.
    Stay warm! x

    • Interesting, Dina. Snow is much easier than ice, ins’t it? But at least Norwegians are used to it. Yesterday I was privy to a conversation about how incredibly tough and resourceful Norwegians are. This person claimed the Norwegian character is cheerful, too, but at least one I knew well was anything but… πŸ™‚ It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? And all kinds of weather, too.

  5. I’ll happily join in the compliments raining down, these are lovely shots. Is that your poem?! Also lovely. And I, too, appreciate learning “graupel”. I’m thinking of marketing some textured flash cards, to identify what particular cold stuff is pelting us, and in the interest of more detailed accident reports, when we’re sprawled on the sidewalk after sliding on the stuff.
    The snow on jasmine in #8 looks very elegant and sugary.

    • It’s mine, Robert, thanks so much. The graupel card’s going to be awfully thick, and what if you forget your flash cards – will you create an app? A textured app. (You’re too much!) πŸ™‚ Speaking of sprawling, I had a terrible fall once, maybe 10 years ago, running foolishly on thick snow that had ice underneath it – I’d forgotten about the ice layer. My right foot slid out in front of me and I slammed hard onto the ice…somehow I drove myself to the ER, in great pain. I had broken my sacrum, ouch! The best part was starting a new job in lower Manhattan, with a long commute, while still needing a cane. Not a promising start to my career with NY State, but it all worked out fine in the end.

  6. Another wonderful selection of photos, Lynn. If I have to pick a favorite (and I do), I pick #8 because I love your precise detail and focus of a delicate subject. Beautiful job!

  7. I like your interpretation. You capture the feeling of the moment rather than presenting the view of an emotionally detached observer.

    • Well, if that’s true, I’m very happy. I’d like to do that more. My father was a scientist, and the detached observer lives inside me, if you catch my drift. πŸ˜‰ Thanks Louis!

  8. Lovely pictures of the winterly wood. Number 8 is my favourite! What a nice picture the nature made of the leaves so beautifully decorated πŸ™‚ – “Graupel” ??? Funny which words find their way into a different language. But sometimes there are words describing things much better than the mother tongue. To me / for me? (these prepositions – I will never learn that, sigh) it is always very interesting! I like that learning new or funny words…actually Graupel is a funny word in German too πŸ™‚ Have a nice wintertime. We are still in the midst of it, but the sun is getting warmer every day πŸ™‚ But oh dear, nothing in comparison to this storm at your east coast!! How bad is that. Crazy!

    • It IS funny which words get around, isn’t it? I always think Schadenfreude is a really interesting one. Don’t worry too much about those prepositions – you could probably get away with either one, these days! πŸ˜‰ I suppose it should be “To me.” I like hearing that graupel is a funny word in the original language, too – that’s interesting. And I should capitalize it, when I refer to the German word, right? We’re glad we’re not on the east coast any more, but the west coast had really awful wildfires last year. Is any area spared?

      • Uhuh…Schadenfreude…thats not very flattering πŸ˜‰ Like the word “Angst”….what does that say about us πŸ˜‰ – I like funny words in every language. Gobbledygook is a great word, haha! – I heard of the fires and saw them on TV. Horrible. Yes, probably there are few areas that were left out….Today there is a breeze of spring overhere – wonderful πŸ™‚

      • Its’ not flattering, but it does happen, and I always thought it was interesting that there’s a specific word for it. Angst, well, if you’re a romantic, you could love that. It’s always fun chatting with you Almuth!

  9. Having days of graupel here! You may have started a trend- reintroducing that word for seeing more and more of the stuff.
    1- love the scurry and capture of the footprints. You’re detached and looking at all that coming and going down below.
    2- this one has to be my favorite- the gnarly tangle of it all. I bet this one would have been similar in monochrome anyway, but you’re teaching me to see the occasions when B&W makes a bit of sense.
    3- sorry, but this one doesn’t do anything for me. I can’t get past seeing elephant feet and a trunk.
    4, 5, & 6- despite the holly I like this one best, but they’re all fun
    7- the color adds a sunnier mood her- yes, they’re invasive, but they are juicier and sweeter than the natives πŸ™‚
    8&9- esp. 8… the perfect pattern of snow on the leaves is almost surreal
    All beautiful, as always…

    • Wouldn’t it be funny if recognizing the word and using it more resulted in the phenomenon being more common? Magic! An ancient idea, that one. I’m excited that you like #2 that much – I love that kind of look but feel it’s an acquired taste, and one difficult to express artistically. I suppose people want a place to focus, but sometimes there isn’t one. Thank you so much for your thoughts! How about 50 degrees, or 55 even, and no precipitation? Just for a few days, OK? I think we can do it.

  10. Pingback: stormy interlude II | Movin' on

  11. Hi Lynn, Between you and Gunta, I now know graupel. Thanks! I really love your lead black and white photos: the graphic footprints, the intensely and beautifully detailed trees and the simple and strong trio of trunks. Wonderful series overall.

    • Ha ha Jane, maybe you’ll see some, on some extra cold day, or if you go up in the mountains. I read that it’s prone to avalanches, because ti’s really unstable though. SO glad you like the first two – the first one was easy, as you’d guess, but not the second. Thanks you for being here!

  12. Love the first image with the footprints on the sidewalk. The angular shapes are very pleasing to the eye.

    There’s a rather thin line between a level of snow which is fun and pretty to look at, and one where it leads to treacherous conditions and/or becomes a complete nuisance! I read on the BBC ‘teletext’ yesterday that the East Coast of the US was suffering storms and lots of cancelled transport.

    • I see that sidewalk all the time, and it’s nice….you’re right, it can be a thin line between fun and really, really not fun. I’ve had plenty of the difficult days when I lived in New York, both in the city and to the north or east of it. By February, it gets SO old and if it snows again in March, you’re ready to kill. πŸ˜‰

  13. Winter came to Amsterdam as well! People ice skating on the canals (see post today) and having fun in the cold πŸ™‚ Lovely pictures as usual, Lynn, I especially love the last two. So beautiful.

    • That is the best! I’m so happy for you, Camilla, it must have been wonderful to see that, and just to feel everyone being that happy. Thank you for being here, and have a great week.

  14. Had no idea there was such a thing as Graupel, which we’ve had here in Rhode Island. Also enjoyed seeing a mobile photo in the mix. πŸ˜€ Great images.

    • Thanks for visiting, and letting me know you’re here….I bet it’s happened more than once in Rhode Island, and it’s nice to have a word for it. The phone does come in handy, not only when I don’t have a camera, but also, if I want a really wide angle. It just has a different look, and that’s useful. Glad you liked the post. πŸ™‚

  15. It’s interesting that graupel is a common word here: often used in forecasts and reports, and even in casual discussion. I suspect it’s because we’re far more likely to receive graupel than snow or ice — it’s what passes for winter here.

    It occurred to me that this snow is a nice equivalent to the flowers that are known as spring ephemerals. They come, and then they fade quickly, just as this snow of yours does. Does anyone talk about snow like this blooming? They should!

    • Really?!? Yes, very interesting! It was on TV that I heard if first. A spring ephemeral, yes, that’s what the snow is on days like that, it blooms and fades…nice idea.

    • Oh boy, 26 inches! I am not sure how far upstate you are…but did I already tell you I grew up in Syracuse? πŸ˜‰ Yes, very pretty, but spring needs to come. Thank you for commenting, Lisa, and I hope you didn’t have to do any shoveling….and it melts very soon.

  16. Great captures of the snow dusting the world, Lynn. We did have miserably cold and windy weather this weekend. We left for a 3 day weekend in Pittsburgh early Friday morning. As we had no power, we had to get ready in the dark. It turned out our power was out until 6:00 pm. Saturday; luckily, we were away so didn’t have to deal with the extended power outage firsthand, but we did have to throw out a lot of ruined food when we returned.

    • No fun! That’s a long outage – too bad you lost all that food, but i’s a good thing your travels were safe! I heard another system is on the way – hopefully it won’t affect the DC area. Maybe!

      • So far, knock on wood, the weather forecast isn’t bad, Lynn. Today is sunny and a high of 42. I hope it stays this way and gets slowly warmer! I’m feeling a little sick from some of the food we thought we might be able to save; now I’m afraid to eat anything except new stuff I bought!

    • A thin veil of snow is a nice way to put it. You must be something of an expert in snow, having grown up in Norway, so I’m happy you find these to your liking. πŸ™‚ Have a good week!

    • In a way, those days with even a little snow cover can convey a much warmer feeling than all the days we have when it’s 40 degrees, gray and wet. Glad you enjoy the photos, Sheri! Have a great week!

    • πŸ™‚ And it’s a view I see all the time – out the window nearest the computer. πŸ˜‰ But of course, it doesn’t look like that often at all. I’m glad you liked the snowy images Denise.

    • Which proves that the potential doesn’t have to be there for a sharp, clear picture. Looking out that window, one really can’t get a sharp picture. If you open the window, there’s a screen, so the only choice is to shoot through a window that’s three stores up and never gets washed. But soften it up and it can work. I’m reminding myself! πŸ˜‰ Thanks Melissa!

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