The First Few Days












Openwater_Frost10The first few days of the year have been very cold. I am frequently lured out in this weather – it is one of my favourite times to make photographs – as the landscape shifts in and out of light and the breath from the river envelopes everything in its wintriness.

The sighting of a robin used to be a harbinger of spring but it is no longer uncommon to come across small flocks of overwintering robins. These robin photographs were made on one of the coldest days of the winter.


© Karen McRae, 2014

120 thoughts on “The First Few Days

  1. These are so beautiful. I can feel the cold and the delicate iciness. It’s warm in L.A. with Santa Ana winds blowing from the desert. So vastly different…

  2. Another smashing photoshoot – I particularly like number 3 ! Re the cold spell – it’s affecting us in the UK as the jet stream is causing storms and some pretty horrendous flooding everywhere ! So let’s hope it warms up just a little for everyone’s sake ! Best Wishes C !

    1. Thank you,Chris,
      I have heard there is some difficult weather there. Best wishes to everyone affected.
      The cold has eased up here today and I’m going to head out with my snowshoes…

  3. Beautiful, otherworldliness to this set of images. Winter with snow and ice is a world I do not know but can appreciate from your images without the cold. Love, love the close ups.

  4. All beautiful. So many warm colours you have discovered in all that frozenness. That one with the fog- I half expect Odin to pop his head up out of the water. Or celestial ocean. Looks like a mystical journey.

    1. Thank you, Isabel.
      The bird is called an American Robin. Most of them migrate south in the winter but in the past few years I have seen small flocks of them all winter.
      There are no hot springs in any of these photographs, the air is just so cold ( -26 Celsius ) the water appears to be steaming – the water is cold too, though, but the moving water at the rapids doesn’t freeze over like the rest of the river.

  5. Fairytales, storybooks, every one..I love how your winter creeps in, each branched touched with icy fingers..fills my heart with joy visiting here!

  6. Great series. These photos look harsh and soft all at once, I just love them. I especially like the 7th and 10th photos and the plant in them — sumac? Just guessing because of the fuzziness of the branches.

  7. Happy new year, Karen – love your winter photos – especially the close up of the ice crystals on the grass stems and the curly twig – but will be happy when this cold retreats back to you – down to -3F tonight with wind chill -18F That is a little cold for my Ozarks! K

    1. Hi Cynthia, thank you, there is lots of beauty out there to find. Yes, the robins; I’ve been seeing them the last 3 winters but it still surprises me that they stick around. It must be a very hard winter for them. It was -30C for a while last week.

  8. Lovelyu, lovely, lovely. I can even feel the cold making these beauties. Make me long for the cold which we don’t really have just now.. And looking forward for the Karen-2014!

  9. Wow, just love the lighting and the crisp white of winter that comes through in your photos. Very inspiring for the new year. Wish you the best in ’14!

  10. Exquisite fairy tale winter beauty. I was looking for the White Witch from Tales of Narnia or perhaps Hans’ Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen to emerge from the icicle cover trees. Virginia

    1. We are on a weather roller-coaster today! It was well above freezing for a while and tonight we are supposed to plunge back down to -23c. I wonder what tomorrow will look like?
      The way snow transforms the landscape always fascinates me.

  11. Karen! These are absolutely breathtaking!! It is no wonder that winter is my most favourite season… once again, you have captured the natural beauty of earth’s winter white bliss! xo

  12. This takes our breath away! We long for the cold and you bring it to us. Thank you so much!
    All the best for 2014, dear Karen
    et riktig godt nytt år til deg!
    The Fabulous Four,

  13. Wonderful Karen, wonderful…
    I’m surprised to see you have robins. We don’t have them here until spring. I hope they will survive in this very cold weather. Usually at this time of year we have common redpoll but they’re not here yet.

    1. Thank you, Jocelyne. Yes, the robins are surprising but some of them seem to have expanded their wintering grounds. This is the third winter I have seen flocks through even the coldest spells.

  14. These are absolutely breathtaking! I’ve always wanted to shoot photos of snowfall, but never know how to make them look interesting. Thank you for the inspiration.

  15. nature is an incredible artist! especially in winter, the nature can be magical, sophisticated and unique. the snow and ice make of nature compelling landscapes and some unique pictures. you made them unforgettable, by making incredible winter photography of them. wonderful!

  16. I’ve been in a bit of a fairytale world lately, and these photos fit perfectly. Lovely! And I agree with you, this time of year is such an exciting time to take photos.

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