September Light

Sunrise in Yellowstone National Park
Sunrise in Yellowstone National Park

The Weather Shot

Newspaper photographers shoot all kinds of subjects, but when a slow news day comes along they often turn to a reliable stand-by: the weather shot. Through the cycle of seasons Mother Nature is quite often a photographer’s invaluable assistant.

When I set off down the driveway last Monday morning, after a light overnight snowfall, I was looking for my own weather picture. I’ve made the same circuit in other years, and in deeper snows—down to the road to check an old apple tree and various grasses, then back uphill, through mixed woods and pasture, oaks and scattered Ponderosa pines, before hiking up the largest hill opposite our house, its flank covered by ferns, more oak and stout firs, and all manner of woody debris.

What I discovered on my short ramble was accents. The snowfall had barely penetrated the densest portions of the woods, and where it had had left subtle traces.

A pine lost its grip on the saturated soil, adding a new feature to a pasture trail.

A hint of snowfall on an evergreen.

Ferns shone against the dull forest floor on a hillside.

A well-traveled deer trail in the lower pasture. When I completed my walk all the snow had melted.