The Thanksgiving evening was perfectly clear, as late-autumn evenings in the desert often are, and I felt like I could see forever: stones and brush in the foreground, over the Pines to Palms Highway, across the irrigated valley floor, before slicing the final bits of sunlight off the tops of the Little San Bernardino Mountains.
The layers of fields, tree lines, bars, and hillsides that make up central Oregon remind me of the picturesque bucolic settings of Miyazaki movies.
The route over the mountains between San Diego and Palm Springs, CA 74, leads down this incredible twisting spiral of two-lane blacktop. Far in the distance, the twinkling lights of the desert valley await night travelers.
The West Side Highway has fascinated me ever since I saw it in this very illegal lap around Manhattan years ago, but the road was mostly empty on this Sunday morning for a different kind of race: a running road race.
Though much of the country is enjoying crispy fall weather, the mountains and hills of the northeast have already been carpeted with the first snowfalls, and much of the bright foliage has already fallen to the forest floor.
After a day of rain, the clouds peeled back around sunset to reveal the foothills of the Adirondacks to the south. This bucolic landscape (on the right side of the image) is actually the eastern reach of St. Lawrence University’s 1,000-acre campus.
Clear, cold winter air and a road stretching north from the Connecticut-Massachusetts border makes a lovely entrance to the Berkshires. A photogenic dusting of snow doesn’t hurt, either.
This is an example of perfect timing—as much as I like to take winter pictures, quadcopter drones like neither snow nor extremely low temperatures. Early in the season, however, there are lucky days like this one where snow is immediately followed by clear skies and above-freezing temperatures that give me a tiny window in which to capture the winter.
A curving, semi-broken mountain road beneath an aspen grove is the natural habitat of Subaru’s Impreza WRX. As I took this shot, I was riding in a Subaru myself—there was an appropriate sense of kinship.
The northeastern US has been gripped by severe and hardened cold. Consider, for a moment, how much colder 20 ºF feels than 60 ºF. Imagine that difference projected past its original low point, out the other side to -20 ºF. After past winter temperatures like these, I can attest that the return to “normal” winter really does feel 40 ºF warmer. The rivers and lakes are freezing. The snow is a dry powder, dozens of degrees below its melting point. A warm home above the frozen waters sounds pretty inviting.
Summer is here! Chlorophyll-generation reactions abound in leaf and stem; the summer solstice is grand. In a countryside that seems forbidding during the winter months, warm weather changes the attitude of the land. Get out and explore!
This highway in the hillside makes the mountain look rather smug, I think. This is the Han Solo of rocky formations.
Even at the end of this winter-that-wasn’t, the North Country wouldn’t let us get away without gorgeous glaze ice and snow-packed roads. Is any day crisper than the one after an epic storm?
Ice and snow and real winter have locked down the countryside, but I still have the photographic evidence of our ultra-mild, el-Niño-powered January.
Away from the village centers, the North Country is frozen at an odd point in development. The original farms of early settlers haven’t been completely removed, but not much development has continued past that point. Trailers were installed by the sides of hot-mix roads and everything stopped there. I’m fascinated to think what this area must have been like during the late 1940s—population returning as the nation demobilized, and those people changing things in the North Country. Things don’t seem to change as much now.
The New Year is here, and real winter has arrived along with it! Snow flies through the air and ice clings to the branches and sticks of the North Country.