First tracks

Making tracks

Artist Gordon Henschel looks forward to a snow-covered landscape this winter.

I don’t believe there is anything more beautiful than waking up to find your world covered with a blanket of fresh snow, especially if it’s the first of the season.

I know, I know; you have to shovel the stuff off your driveway and sweep it off your car. But forget the fact that you have to use a little elbow grease and take a good look around you. Every place you gaze is a picture postcard that begs for a camera. Even that pile of litter that you meant to clean up this fall has become a statuesque work of art.

In addition to all the beauty that has been created overnight, the list of activities that this new development has made possible is endless. Snowmen, snowball fights (and the snow forts that must be built to protect oneself against these deadly missiles), tobogganing, sledding and skiing. Not to mention snow angels (remember those?). To make them you lie down on your back in an area of untouched snow and wave your arms up and down in a flying motion parallel to your sides and voila; you have created angels with wings in the fresh snow. Simply wonderful!

If you’re lucky enough to live near a trail in the woods, as I do (an old logging road), it becomes a magic highway with every fresh snow. In the woods, where there is less wind, every tree becomes a Christmas tree with its own frosting accentuated by the dark forest behind it.

If the snowfall hasn’t been too heavy, I like to take my car out for a spin (sometimes literally!) down one of our many logging roads to see what new images present themselves for painting. We are lucky on North Island to have a moderate temperature along with our snowfalls, so the snow often sticks to the trees and grass creating a veritable winter wonderland.

I did the painting (above, right) on a logging road that comes out of Beaver Cove and runs to Nimpkish Lake. Driving it was pure fun since the snow was neither too deep nor too heavy. The trees were snow laden on both sides of the road the entire way.

Being the first to “break trail” on this snowy morning gave me a sense of adventure that no city driver could ever experience. I felt oh so lucky to be able to live and do this in an area of the world as yet untrammeled and uncrowded.

Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschel.ca

 

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