Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter's Beauty

There's no question that I really enjoy the winter season. I grew up in Alaska so winter is nothing new to me. In fact, I embrace the winter season and feel privileged to see a full four seasons here in Minnesota.

What is it about winter that stirs something deep inside us? For me, it's a number of tiny treasures that light the soul. I think at the top of the list would be the silence that comes with winter. Snowshoeing into the BWCA on a crisp February day you can stop and hear only your heartbeat. The insulation of the snow traps the normal sounds. There are no leaves, no waves,
and few voices. Its a real treat.

Second for me is the ice. I love ice. Perhaps its a photographic thing. That translucent quality and visual pleasure that ice brings to the eyes is mesmerizing. Assorted hues and colors dance while playing off the light. That gem like sheen and softness begged to be touched. I see a broken sheet of ice sticking on a lake or shore and I make tracks right to it.

And lastly, the primeval aspects of winter stir the mind in ways non-winter climates will never showcase. Winter camping in the BWCA touches the considerations of survival. Things like wind play a huge factor in many daily decisions. The thickness of lake ice, depth of snow, and carrying of gear all contribute to how a trip will be endured. Tackling a winter camping experience is rewarding and educational on so many levels.

It would be shame if a book on the BWCA excluded the frozen season. We decided early on that a chapter on winter will part of this BWCA/Quetico book experience. We'll be focusing on dogsledding as the vehicle to take us there. With that will come excitement, silence, and textures only winter can bring on. Here's a few examples. More winter discussions to follow soon.

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