Winter Isn’t Over

In the arid American Southwest, made more arid by recurring drought, any form of moisture is welcome. Few forms are more fabulous than frozen flakes falling from the firmament, as was the case last week. After two days of watching a snowfall through the window from my desk, my body and mind yearned to dive into the late winter wonderland, before it would dissipate like a dream.

Any place is transformed by snow, and beautiful places become more beautiful. This was the case at Garden of the Gods on the morning after the storm. The park’s inherent splendor was rendered more splendid, its innate majesty more majestic, by a moderate sprinkling of powdered sugar. Many place names exaggerate and embellish, but in my mind, Garden of the Gods’ designation is no hyperbole.

As wind and sun slowly but steadily transubstantiated shimmering, frozen crystals back into their translucent, liquid state, ravens were squawking overhead, robins were breaking their fast on frosty juniper berries, the lovely melody of Townsend’s Solitaires floated down from their elevated perches, and this human soul was filled to its brim.

Im trockenen, durch wiederholte Dürreperioden noch ausgetrockneteren Südwesten der USA, ist jeglicher Niederschlag willkommen. Wenige Formen sind fabelhafter als gefrorene Flocken, die aus dem Firmament fallen, wie das vergangene Woche der Fall war. Nachdem ich zwei Tage lang von meinem Schreibtisch aus den Schneefall beobachtet hatte, sehnten sich mein Körper und Geist danach, in die späte Winterwunderlandschaft einzutauchen, bevor alles wie ein Traum erscheinen würde.

Jeder Ort wird durch Schnee verwandelt, und herrliche Orte werden noch herrlicher. Das war am Morgen nach dem Sturm auch im Garden of the Gods der Fall. Eine mittelschwere Puderzuckerschicht unterstrich die dem Park innewohnende Pracht. Manche Ortsnamen sind übertrieben, aber Garden of the Gods verdient meiner Meinung nach seinen Titel.

Während Wind und Sonne die glitzernden Eiskristalle langsam aber sicher wieder in ihren durchsichtigen, flüssigen Zustand verwandelten, krächzten Raben am Himmel, stopften sich Wanderdrosseln zum Frühstück ihre Mägen mit frostigen Wacholderbeeren, schwebte die liebliche Melodie weiterer Vögel durch die Lüfte, und war diese menschliche Seele bis zum Bersten gefüllt.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover cursor over it.

Zum Vergrößern, das Bild bitte anklicken. Um den Titel zu lesen, mit der Maus darüber schweben.

74 thoughts on “Winter Isn’t Over

  1. Wunderschön Tanja,
    märchenhafte Landschaft wie mit Schnee/Puderzucker bestäubt. Das hast Du gut gemacht, sie vor dem Frühling anzuschauen und zu fotografieren (und uns zu zeigen :).
    Spannend finde ich auch die Vogelbilder und Deine deutschen Vogelnamen Übersetzungen. So lerne ich dazu, wie die Vogelverwandschaft in den USA aussieht und heisst 🙂
    Liebe Grüsse aus dem heute wahrscheinlich 20 oC warmen Karlsruhe am Rhein und am nördlichen Schwarzwald in good old Germany,
    Jutta und Steve

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liebe Jutta, lieber Steve,
      es freut mich, daß Ihr einen kurzen Ausflug in den Winter mit mir unternommen habt, während Ihr wahrscheinlich zu Hause schwitzt. Genießt die frühen Frühlingstage, die hoffentlich nicht der Beginn eines zu heißen und trockenen Jahres verkünden!
      Herzliche Grüße,

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naja, schwitzen – ab Mittags im Wintermantel in der prallen Sonne. Gestern war ich gegen 10 Uhr bei 4 Grad unterwegs und Mittags waren es dann aber schon 14 Grad und sonnig. Ist aber wirklich angenehm, der Vorfrühling hier und Steve liebt es. Er tourt schon wieder draussen rum.

        Ja, da hast Du recht Tanja, auch der Winter war zu trocken, die Seen sind noch nicht recht aufgefüllt.

        Habt es fein und herzliche Grüsse zurück,
        Jutta und Steve

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh it’s all so pretty! The orange belly of Robin is striking. You’re lucky to still experience some winter over there! It’s been around 10 degrees during daytime here since several days. No snow in sight but maybe we will get some before spring arrives 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • We haven’t had enough snow this winter, Pooja, but whenever it arrives, everything looks so pristine. The robins were so funny to watch, chattering, flying from tree to tree, and stuffing themselves.
      I hope winter will bring you another present before it gives way to spring.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard about Europe’s early spring, Brian. While it, too, is good for the soul, it raises larger, more concerning questions, thereby dampening one’s enjoyment. But as I can see on your blog, you have had some marvelous outings!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Traumhaft schön, liebe Tanja, und so herrliche Vögel hast du wieder “geschnappt ”
    Um den Schnee beneide ich dich 😉
    Genieße weiter die beeindruckende Landschaft um dich herum und lass uns weiter teilhaben. Das genieße ich dann 😀
    Liebe Grüße, Brigitte

    Liked by 3 people

    • Herzlichen Dank, liebe Brigitte. Der Schnee ist fast schon wieder ganz weg, trotz eines zweiten Schneefalls. Aber vielleicht kommt noch etwas mehr, wir könnten es noch immer gebrauchen.
      Genieße Du Eure Frühlingstage.
      Alles Liebe,


  4. I can confirm that winter isn‘t over yet! This morning the temperature was down to minus 24 degrees Celsius!
    Nevertheless, you pictures are amazing! Enjoy „your“ winter!
    Kindest regards from Canada (Québec)

    Liked by 2 people

    • It seems you are in winter’s grip, while we receive only occasional embraces, Christa. We had another, more substantial snowfall after the one mentioned in my post, but even those 8 inches have melted almost completely. I think you will experience spring all the more sweetly because of it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In eight years of reading posts, this is the first time I’ve come across anyone using the verb transubstantiate. We could say you’ve transformed your blog substantially, but of course the snow did the real work. Did you have the place wholly or largely to yourself, as the pictures seem to show, or were you just good at composing your photographs to avoid visitors? When we were there two summers ago, the place swarmed with tourists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It wasn’t busy compared to a summer’s day, Steve, but there were enough people for a weekday morning, so I avoided capturing them in my photos. It is still possible to go to the park at certain times and see few people, especially by avoiding the Central Garden and by hiking on the peripheral trails, but the park also suffers from being loved to death, like so many others.
      I think transsubstantiation encapsulates the water cycle perfectly.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Herrlich, diese Kontraste in der Landschaft! Mir persönlich hat der Schnee dieses Jahr in Norddeutschland gefehlt. Und der frühe Frühling löst bei mir aufgrund des Klimawandels einen gewissen Beigeschmack aus… auch wenn ich die Sonne natürlich genieße 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wunderschön! (That’s a nice word 🙂 ). Thanks for sharing your experience with beautiful words and photos. I’ve seen a few Townsend Solitaires but I’ve never heard them sing. Hopefully some day. I heard my first and only Swainson’s Thrush song this summer and it was magical! I can’t speak German but I know a few words, so I found it interesting to see the names of the birds and other animals in German.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for the link, Tanja. I think I would have trouble discerning the song of a Townsends Solitaire from that of a female House Finch. The most obvious difference to my not-so-discerning ear is that some of the phrases sung by a female House Finch end in an upward note. The call of the Townsends Solitaire is unlike anything I’ve ever heard before though. It is such a clear, high-pitched note. Its clarity kind of blows my mind!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad you like the song, Myriam. I had not thought of a female House Finch song, but will try to listen to both, and compare them. Learning to bird by ear is one of my major goals, but I am not very gifted in that regard, and have to hear a song or call many, many times, before I can finally make the connection.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Eine tolle Landschaft und ich bin begeistert über deine schneegepuderten Fotos vom Garden of the Gods. Die Roten Sandsteinklippen „Siamesische Zwillinge“ sind dir photografisch gut gelungen. Diesen Nationalpark habe ich noch nicht besucht und du hast recht Garden of the Gods verdient zurecht seinen Namen. Der Buntfalke gefällt mir bei den Vögeln besonders gut
    LG Andrea

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such an open and mysterious landscape! Loved seeing the robin on it. We are trying to help kestrals in Massachusetts by building nesting boxes for them. Diminishing meadowlands have made it harder for them to survive here.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m intrigued by the alternative caption for the American Robin ie Hiking Thrush. Is this the German version? (I think the other bird images have alternative captions in German but Hiking Thrush doesn’t sound very German!) If it is, it’s good to see this handsome bird assigned to its correct taxonomic group…as we know, it most certainly is not a robin in the sense that European birders understand that word.

    Incidentally, I asked Professor Google about the Hiking Thrush…what he told me had absolutely nothing to do with birds. I’ll say no more 🙂.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for taking the time to read this older post, Mr. P.

      Yes, Wanderdrossel is the German name for an American Robin. I suspect that “wandern” in this context doesn’t mean to hike but rather to migrate. Its scientific name Turdus migratorius suggests as much.

      Without having googled hiking thrush, I have a pretty good idea what it refers to. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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