Breaking the Ice

Spring is really here. Less than a week ago, my personal natural swimming pool, errr, lake looked like this, and now all the ice is all gone. 

There is a great Russian expression about melting ice that comes to mind to describe certain current geopolitical events, but, despite my normal verbosity, I can't think of a suitable English-language equivalent.

So enjoy the view. :)

Near-Full Worm Moon

Saturday's near-full Worm Moonrise, viewed from the mountains, was glorious and otherworldly: after all, it was warm enough to maintain thick, but movable cloud cover that changed the entire landscape every few seconds.

It's a trick comment: the Moon is always glorious, especially when we don't see it.

When the temperature dropped, and the clouds dissipated, the perfectly visible Man-on-the-Moon lit our way as we descended back into town. 

And now: sleep.

Skiing through the Snow Storm

This weekend in smartphone photography: I test my Russianness yet again by cross-country skiing into a snow storm. (Both Vladimir Putin and I use the same PR agency, in case you haven't noticed. Just kidding!)

Backcountry skiing in the Rocky Mountains involves living on the edge.

Literally!

Initially, the sky was as azure as it would have been at the height of summer. The dogs followed me along with their usual circling and play-fighting, and the only sign of the impending storm was the wind growing ever stronger.

Even though this year marks my return to cross-country skiing for the first time since high school, I already have my favorites. Breaking through freshly fallen, virgin snow is one of them.

And the shadows.

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As is often the case in the mountains, the weather change occurred rapidly, with the insurgent and menacing storm clouds inadvertently (or deliberately) making the Sun look almost fairy-tale-like.

At times, you could see the exact boundary in the heavenly battle above, while risking falling onto one of the dogs, who somehow always ended up too close to my skis.

And the dogs themselves? After about an hour, they decided that my Russianness had been tested sufficiently and convinced me to go home.

Just in time.

Snow Moon

On Friday, I stayed up late after all.

Late enough to observe the Moon over the lake making the valley's lights that much brighter.

Just like I wanted.

"What are you doing on the balcony?"

"Watching the Moon."

"Photographing?"

"No, just watching."

The winds were so strong pushing the clouds so rapidly that this created an optical illusion of the Moon traveling through the sky, while at the same time remaining stationary.

I reluctantly went to get the camera.

Snow Moon (Teaser)

Sometimes, you have to wait an entire season for the perfect opportunity.

One came up last night.

Several factors had to coalesce: to capture the teaser image below, it had to be sufficiently, but not excessively cloudy, it had to snow generously, I had to be out of town and in the mountains, and the Moon had to be bright enough, i.e., full. 

The only thing missing was my tripod, but I did alright.

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This Week in Mobile

This week in smartphone photography, we cross-country skied in the mountains during a massive snow storm!

Whenever I post about skiing alongside all those large and mythic-looking ravens, I am not being metaphorical. I actually mean doing so literally.

My little, low-riding, but brave warrior seemed unfazed by the dark and menacing clouds heading in our direction.

These clouds brought gusting winds and carried sharp snow pellets hitting our faces along the way.

But that made the experience all the more exhilarating—so exhilarating, in fact, that it had to be repeated three times! 

The Mutable Mountains

From the Alps to the Rockies, People of the North know full well that their mountains are quite temperamental. On the one hand, the conditions could drastically change during the course of a single day; on the other, these peaks allow us to see a storm coming, literally, better than any weather forecast. Brutal and generous, at times simultaneously, the mountains are always playing a game.

I captured these three images minutes apart from each other.