Winter is upon us here in western Masschusetts. Shotgun hunting season began the Monday after Thanksgiving. A certain sign of winter arriving around here are the big and burly men dressed in fluorescent orange vests or coats walking in the woods, fields or beside the road. I always know when they are working up to hunting season. For the month before, unfamiliar pick-up trucks drive slowly down past our house and pastures, nodding their heads but not really interested in us at all. They are here looking for the deer.
We have never had a problem with hunters using our property. When we first moved here, I honestly felt my peace and quiet was being invaded by strangers. Some of the hunters ask us if they can use our property but most of them don’t. We don’t “post it” (not the sticky notes, folks, I mean “POSTED - NO HUNTING, TRAPPING, OR TRESPASSING) which means that anyone is free to hunt on our land. Ten years later, I am used to the annual parade of the orange vests and don’t even think twice about hunting season. I always try to wear a bright orange scarf when I’m out and about. I relish Sundays because hunting is illegal then and no one drives down our road!
Last week when I was fishing for a location to take photos of my new version of The Winter Wonderland Set, I drove on down to the corner of our road “where the cows used to be.” Don’t you love that? We speak about places in phrases like “up on the flats”, “where we saw the bears”, “up where the wind blows”. I could go on and on. But The Farmer and I are on the same page and we know what each other means.
This place "where the cows used to be" has a nice pull-in and soft and fluffy brown weeds of varying heights throughout the gently rolling hills. I thought the color would be a nice back-drop to the rosy toned hat and mittens.
During hunting season it is usually packed with trucks but that day, I had the pull-in to myself. After I shot the hat and mittens, I zeroed in on some of the natural beauty. Who was to know that those nasty burrs could look so pretty covered with ice crystals?
And ice covered hayfever inducing weeds ....
..... could look so ethereal?
Sometimes you have to look hard and differently than what you are used to but I am always amazed by what I see when I slow down, stop, and look around. So what if I went home with my pants full of burrs, I sure did have a nice hour out in the cold in the peace and quiet with my camera. I guess I'm right out there with the hunters in their orange, I'm just shooting with my camera, not a shotgun.