If I were to describe this winter, I would use only one word -- easy. On the rare occasion we have actually seen a snowfall in Minneapolis-St. Paul, I don't believe it has ever amounted to more than 3-inches; less than 15-inches this entire season. Cold temps? -- Our heating bill is the lowest it's been in recent memory. So, my husband and I headed up north for a couple of days -- 2 hours south of the Canadian border, expecting to find winter. There was a little more snow, but it wasn't much colder. O.k., I'll use one more word to describe this winter -- weird. The weather has just been so unMinnesota-like.
We experienced mostly gray skies; the result of unusual winter warmth causing snow-melt and moisture in the air. On a photography hike through the woods, I was searching for any color I could find. Any contrast to the grayness.
Moss provided some of the most beautiful and vibrant color in the woods.
The birch trees and their peeling, butter colored, paper-like bark.
The blue-green hue of the lichen.
I'm not certain if the blackened bark on this birch tree is the result of disease. The contrast of black against the snow and alongside the reddish-brown of the pine needles was beautifully bold in the otherwise neutral surroundings.
And this is why areas of northern Minnesota are called The Iron Range -- bands of red iron ore layered in the soil. Steep hills were often colored in pink ribbon-like streaks where the iron combined with melting snow.
And how could I not photograph a body protruding from a hay bale?
TAKE a LOOK: