Even if the snow isn't falling outside, the temperature definitely is. And on long winter weekends, the tendency of most normal people is to dress in favorite pajamas, bury beneath warm layers of blankets, brew up some coffee and curl up with a good book or watch a favorite movie, all from the comfort of the couch in the confines of the heated home. I am so glad I am not normal.
What better way to spend a long, cold winter weekend than hiking through the mountains of Tennessee, says I? Are you crazy?, says Aaron. No indeed. I had been itching for an excuse to get out and try my new D300 and certainly I wasn't finding anything much other than fat squirrels who eat leftover pizza from the box (yes, really) to photograph in my Dayton backyard. And so, I decided a road trip was on the agenda.
I have been to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in TN in the spring and the fall, several times, on photography workshops -long days filled with sunrises and sunsets, wildlife and golden light. So I thought, why not try winter? The areas with which I am familiar are bound to be beautiful all year round, and at only 5 hours from home, you can't beat it! And so, this past weekend, Aaron and I headed to the GSMNP and Townsend, TN, the peaceful side of the Smokies. And while the area wasn't booming, there were certainly more people out and about than I would have suspected given the 11-22 degree daily temps. But being the devoted photographer that I am, I didn't let a little cold stop me. And Aaron, bless his heart, was right there with me.
These first few images are of water and waterfalls - we hiked Abram's Falls trail in Cades Cove and Spruce Flats Falls trail at Tremont. I also spent some time photographing the river and the ice along Tremont Road.
Of course I have hundreds more images to testify to the fact that barren can be beautiful, that winter is as magical as spring and fall, and that if I dress in layers and keep well covered (thank God I was a skier in high school and remembered what it was like to dress for winter exposure!), even 20 degree temperatures can't hold me back from journeying to, and connecting with, nature at its most stark and yet perhaps, in its most revealing, time of year.
River Along Tremont Road
Ice formations at the falls runoff
Sunrise on the River