Sunday, February 20, 2011

Winter blue

Whenever I'm overtaken by the winter blues, I turn my attention to blue -- my favorite color, which appears in unique shades only during the winter and gives my heart a lift.

The most magically beautiful blue: Full moon on snow. This is like a bright, sunny day with an indigo filter over it, etching long, sharp shadows and crisp details into a blue-and-white world.

Its opposite: The day after a fresh snowfall. The sky, as my spouse calls it, is "severe clear," giving sheets of azure above sheets of dazzling white.

In between: Pastel tints of bluish lavender outlining the contours of the land beneath the snow and crossing it with shadows. Reflected above in cloud striations that promise more snow to come.

Then there's ice: Frozen waterfalls down escarpments, where groundwater is captured in the act of succumbing to gravity, its minerals glowing teal through silvery masses.

Local people harness the same flow into free-form ice sculptures by sticking a hose into a spring and letting its pressure spray the surrounding landscape. These accumulate into huge, sea-blue mounds that can last until May! I guess that's their way of dealing with winter blues.

Carolyn Haley

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