Lonely in the Snow

Winter Phoenix, 2009
acrylic, toner, and graphite on cheesecloth wrapped panel
6" x 6"

I didn't grow up with snow. Only in recent years have I had the opportunity to traipse about on mountainsides amidst snow flurries and I find the experience, for lack of a better word, chilling. Something about the silence of the snow enthralls me, but keeps me on edge. I cannot shake the awareness that this simple solidification of water has the power to bury the trees and smooth out cliff faces. 

My voice seems an ineffective tool against so much mass and, as I stand next to 100 foot tall conifers that have seen the first fifteen feet entombed for the season, I'm reminded of just how small a man is in the face of nature's simplest processes. 

* * * * *

I photographed this tree as it fought against the diminishing horizon line outside of Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. While it may have seemed lonely in the snow, there was something defiant in its shape. Perhaps experience had taught it that winter was transitory, and survival the norm.

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