Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nature Nerd Wednesdays

Welcome to Nature Nerd Wednesdays!  By the middle of the workweek, I know that I'm ready for a pick-me-up, for some inspiration -- and for that reason I decided to post a nature photo or quote each Wednesday.  Perusing works of nature writing and photography helps me reconnect with the calming, refreshing, and inspiring effects of nature, which is something we all can benefit from in the middle of a busy, stressful work week! 

The North Cascades Highway was featured in this stunning time-lapse photo on the Bing homepage Nov. 18th!
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." - John Muir
Once again in the Pacific Northwest, we've reached the time of year where the autumn windstorms have ripped the last of the leaves from our deciduous trees, leaving colorful memories of fall crunching underfoot as the mountains in the distance grow increasingly white with the promise of  approaching wintertime.

Like John Muir, many of us Nature Nerds and outdoor enthusiasts cannot resist the enticing call of the mountains for an invigorating hike, some beautiful scenery, and to find a sense of peace and restoration of sanity to our frantic lives.  This time of year, skiers, snowboarders, and other winter sports enthusiasts join the ranks of nature lovers fleeing to the mountains... many of them for the same reasons. In fact, a snowboarder interviewed on the news the other night described the experience of being in the snowy mountain wilderness: "The snow just deadens all of the sound and makes everything so peaceful... it's very cathartic."

I came across some stunning black and white photos of the Cascade mountains in wintertime, photographed by Scott Rinckenberger and displayed in his "An Elevated State: 12 Months of Backcountry Skiing in Washington" collection. I had to share these photos in honor of the first big snowfall of the season in our beloved and iconic Cascade mountains.  My favorite photo is below, but be sure to check out the photographer's website for the rest of the stunning shots in this collection.

Winter's Arrival - Mount Rainier National Park, by Scott Rinckenberger
The photo above wonderfully conveys the quiet, peaceful, almost dreamy feeling of a snow-covered wilderness. I can almost feel the cold air searing my lungs and stinging my cheeks a bright pink, in a muted landscape where the only discernible sounds are the faint scratching and whispering of snowflakes as they settle in the tree branches overhead.

Even if you can't make it up to the mountains, these photos will give you a taste of the awe-inspiring beauty and soul-soothing peace this snowy landscape provides.

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