The Congress of Light and Ice

When the sun began its leisurely ascension from behind the eastern mountains Thursday morning (which is shortly after 9:00 a.m. this far north), I quickly noticed that overnight weather conditions had deposited a thick coating of lacy rime on every blade and twig of exposed vegetation.  I hurriedly dressed and grabbed my camera so I could snap some pictures, knowing that the combination of light and ice could not fail to be dazzling for those few moments they met in congress.  Turned out, magical was a more apt description, really.

I guess because of the dryness of this particular snow, it lays on surfaces like a quadrillion sequins, and when the light shines down on it, it is what I imagine a thick carpet of tiny pave diamonds would look like.  I never ever ever get tired of walking along, drinking in the glints of the tiny crystals, alive with light.

Later Thursday morning, I drove to town to attend to some chores and enjoyed my most "Northern Exposure" experience yet.  As I drove south toward Whitehorse, I noticed in the distance ahead that several cars had stopped on the highway to navigate around an object which seemed to be sitting in the middle of the northbound lane.  When I arrived at the point of interest, I chuckled to see that it was a brand new couch sheathed in thick clear plastic.  Just like a highway living room.  Even more Northern Exposure was the divan's proximity to a turnoff to Couch road.  

After almost a week, I have settled into a routine of sorts whereby sometime during the day, I make a drive to town to procure any items necessary for my meals or comfort and then tuck myself back in the cabin to enjoy reading and cooking and watching the light (or lack thereof) on the snow outside my windows.  Because I'm surrounded by mountains, the sunrise and sunset often tints the fields of snow opposite vivid hues of tangerine and salmon.  I have also learned to discern and appreciate more shades of blue than I ever imagined existed.  It is SO lovely here.

Friday evening, it turned out to be a balmy 25F, so I decided to make a foray into the night to see if I might could spot the glimmer of a distant aurora on the horizon (forecast: quiet) and at the same time, spend some more time experimenting with light painting.  I learned after my first encounter with the aurora that it is oftentimes difficult to distinguish it from nocturnal clouds, so I have begun using the camera to make the determination.  I shot a 30 second exposure that yielded only the tiniest wisp of a distant aurora and so turned my attention to color changing LEDs instead.  As I cavorted about, manipulating CDs, strings of light and colored gels, my phone rang.  It was Mark and he'd made it as far as Vancouver.  He asked if I was sleeping, and it made me laugh.  Here's a few images from my experiments for your enjoyment:

I've never had so little trouble staying up to 3:30 in my life!  What a happy girl.

On my way back to the cabin, the coyotes in the distance began howling in a concert that was still being conducted when I woke four hours later to begin my next day.

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