Saturday, December 31, 2016

Living In A Winter Wonderland...

Because of the topography where we live we get what are called winter inversions. This means that cold air is trapped between the mountains and hot air above seals it in, like a lid on a pot. The trouble with inversions is all the pollution that normally vents itself into the atmosphere is trapped as well. People with breathing problems (and, really, everyone...) has to breathe the dirty air. I've heard that the area was known to the Native Americans as place for deep fogs that occurred every winter, long before any car or factory or wood-burning stove graved the land. I've researched, but I can't confirm it.

Everyone complains about the bad air. Everyone complains about it, but they still seem to drive their cars. I suppose I'm against it as well, but there's one result of the winter inversion that I absolutely love--it's the way it makes everything look. More specifically, it's the way everything, from plants to buildings to rocks, are encased in frost.

This morning and tonight I went outside and tried to capture the beauty on film (even though there's no film involved...). You know what I mean. I got a few shots, but I couldn't get just how beautiful is is, at least beautiful in my eyes.

Tonight as the kids are playing boardgames with their friends as they wait for 2016 to disappear only to be replaced by 2017, I ventured outside to a small pine tree we decorated with star-shaped LED lights. If you look carefully you can see what we're breathing encased in ice.

Eventually the inversion breaks apart, usually by a storm or a big wind, and the sun returns to our darkened world--it happens every year. All the frosted plants, buildings, and rocks are freed from their frozen prison. It's good for the lungs, but makes everything look ordinary again. Like everything else, there's a price to pay for beauty.

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