Winter on Meeting House Road
A lone sumac on Meetinghouse Road, divested of her leaves, seedpods like candle flames at the ends of branches, ready to warm the birds with food during the freezing, snowy, icy, months to come. All through the winters I watch the sumacs, the stark beauty silhouetted against the myriads of designs in the skies exemplify for me that which is winter. In all of this seeming starkness, harshness of Winter's months there are graces to be found. Glorious lines of vegetation and structures once hidden by the lush green leaves of the growing seasons are now revealed in graphic lines all over the landscape. Looking within and about these lines you see that which will give nourishment to the wild creatures of the area. Seedpods such as the sumac's and the fir tree's cones, nuts and seeds still on branches or laying upon the ground, tree barks, dried grasses, berries and wild grapes still on their leafless vines. All of these, and more, now show starkly upon the landscape to the interested eyes of the hungry.... those hungry for the food and those, like me, hungry for the beauty of the lines and the tales of what they represent.
Winter is not simply a time of nakedness and exposure. Winter is the body of nature unfettered by clothing, draped in silken yardage, unencumbered with the weights of Summer's attire. Winter landscapes break away, running full speed with the freezing winds, which are filled with ice and snow, stopping to posture and pose in unconstrained new shapes, pausing to give succoring attention to it's wild residents, and then once again activating herself with joy in her newfound freedom. She isn't ugly or cruel. Winter is abstract frame set free, unguided for a spell, seemingly relinquished of all her responsibilities of previous seasons, but she still cares for her own in her pre-ordained ways.
I am not a cold weather person and once preferred staying within my cozy, warm home, waiting out the Winter, longing for Spring. However, since I became a working nature photographer I was forced to venture out in all seasons. The beauty, the comfort of winter landscapes in my Valley draw me out now in all kinds of weather, in every season. I find I now look forward to my close inspections of Nature's Winter months. The lure, the promise of exposed creation draws me from my home and delights my hungry eyes for hours, day after day. For me, a leafless sumac posed against the sky tells me the story of Winter; an epic tale of escapade, allure, and province. -June Mohan
Photos: (Copyright Mohan 2007) To contact the artist, please send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.