Gift of snow and sun at day's end by Carey Pace

We expected three inches.  We got beyond eight! Then I got a double gift by the snow clouds leaving and giving me sunshine at the day's end to try my hand at photographing in sunset snow. It was a dry, powdery snow that wouldn't make a snowball to save your life.  Certainly not a snowman (despite our efforts).  Honestly, it resembled FAKE snow more than real snow. I've never experienced a snow just like this one! 

But it dazzled and sparkled and floated and made my heart skip a beat unlike any other snow I can recall. 

stories 2017 - week 1 by Carey Pace

We knew when we agreed to move here that we were risking forsaking childhood memories of snow. Further east, lower elevation, and less mountainous. All things working against the gift of mighty snowstorms. We knew there were years, sometimes seasons of years, where this new place went without snow at all.

I bought the gear anyway. I always have, every year in new sizes. Always a gamble whether it would go unused.

Insulated boots to keep toes warm. Rugged snow bibs (not just pants where the snow surprises you going down your backside). Special gloves that go up to your elbows so they don’t come loose while you play. Thermal under layers both thin and warm. I never want them to know the feeling of frozen AND wet.

The risk has paid off. Two snowstorms last year each gave us more than we’d ever seen in Tennessee. And now, last Saturday morning we awoke to a Narnian wonderland.

This post is part of a collaborative photography project with 14 other artists.  Visit the group here. Tomorrow I'll share sunset of this snowstorm gift. 

The Boy came down with a mysterious illness Friday evening that only shares the symptom of a fever.  Most unfortunately he just didn't feel well when we went out to play and head in early ahead of all of us.   

a year of stories - Jonas - 11 of 52 by Carey Pace

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit our fearless Starter and Leader, Mel Karlberg, after you read this post to continue the circle.*

As we are on the cusp of springtime, flowers blooming, leaves unfurling, and pollen unleashed, I figured it was high time to sort through one day of our winter snow play during the dread Winter Storm Jonas back at the end of January.  I don't have a ton of experience photographing snow.  In Tennessee snow always came with dreary, drab, overcast skies.  In all those years I had ONE time where I had the chance to capture snow AND sun at the same time.  The first day of Jonas in Virginia was our typical overcast, still snowy adventure.  Yet the second day brought with it the most beautiful sunshine and the most awesome opportunity to play, play, play and photograph to my heart's content. I hope you'll indulge me in this very photo laden post that chronicles and entire's day adventures in the Pace family. 

The forecasts were all over the place as far as potential snowfall.  We guess we had around eight or nine inches once all was said and done.  We were at the southern tip of the storm.  I cannot fathom what would have happened if we'd been in the center and had more than a foot! First we played in our yard, that included sledding down the driveway and onto the ramps.  That was super fun with slo mo video as well. 

After they tired of sledding, we had to explore in our woods as well.  We took the opportunity to drag away the old, dried out Christmas trees. It's only fair that everyone carry their own weight, wouldn't you agree?  My son and husband had a wonderful snowball battle, set up on opposite sides of the creek and using the natural terrain to their advantage.  However that ended abruptly when the Lady took a tumble.  

I was on the opposite side of the creek when it happened.  Suddenly she was crying, and a momma just knows.  KNOWs when that isn't a fake cry, or a c'mon you'll get over it cry.  She'd tripped on a fallen log and fallen somewhat downhill onto another log and busted her chin.  It is a miracle that none of the broken off branches on these logs didn't slice her skin open or poke her eye.  At the time, there was nothing to see and no blood.  The wound and bruise only showed up many hours later, and WOW, was it a doozy! But after this booboo and me holding her in my lap in the snow, she was done with snow play and wanted to go back home and inside. 

I set the Lady inside in the big bathtub to warm up and play while I went outside for the low sun hours and played snow kickball with the boys.  It was so beautiful watching the sun set over the snow.  Once the kickball game ended, I ran inside and quickly dressed my wet haired lady so I could get a few more sunset snow pictures with her curly head in them.  She just wanted to play with Hugo in the snow.  So rather than ending up with the magical sunset snow pictures I'd envisioned, I got something rather different. But it's better that way, anyway. 

And then of course the Boy wanted his turn in the great big bathtub, too.  

*This post is part of a collaborative project - a year of stories shared by a group of 15 photographers every Tuesday in 2016.  Please visit our fearless Starter and Leader, Mel Karlberg, after you read this post to continue the circle.*