Saturday, 21 February 2009

The beauty of winter

One prays for days like this, and they happen. Clear skies, deep snow, sharp frost, sunshine. I walked from Jeziorki to Zamienie, across Dawidy Bankowe towards Łady (pron. 'Wuddy') before turning back to return a different way. Above: looking towards Dawidy Bankowe.

Above: A field of unharvested cabbage, Zamienie. The awesome flatness of Mazowsze is evident in this photo. Note too, the animal tracks in the snow (bottom left). There's plenty of frozen cabbage for the hares to nibble on. Snow cover reveals the extent of wildlife in these parts; plenty of hares and foxes (or feral dogs).

Above: Snow, grass peeping through. Tracks of fox or feral dog (unaccompanied by human footprints). This photo is worth clicking on to enlarge, then gazing deeply into the texture of the snow and meditating on it a while.

Today is photographically perfect, the polarising filter is in use to bring out the snow/sky contrast. Sadly, no frost or snow on the trees (which makes scenes like these even more achingly beautiful). A winter like this I could live with for even six months of the year; it's the grey, damp days I can't abide.

It was -8C at daybreak and still -4C when I left home, warming up to a comfortable -2C. My M-65 field jacket was ideal in such weather; keeping me warm without overheating. Above left: Beyond the trees lies Dawidy Bankowe and ul. Jana Miklaszewskiego, with its row of new houses.

Above: The return journey took me across ul. Stefana Starzyńskiego (note the fondness for people's names in Dawidy Bankowe's streets), and onto the footpath to the railway line. I'm the first human to have walked along here since the last snowfall, but there are animal tracks aplenty. The texture of snow on the ploughed earth caught my eye, the strong light allowed me to shut down the aperture for maximum depth of field. Another one to click on and contemplate.

Right: Looking back towards Dawidy Bankowe and the trail of my footprints. In a few years time, this very point will be in the middle of the S7 Warsaw- Kraków- Budapest expressway. Today, this field offers me solitude; standing here I could not see a living soul anywhere around me, only the odd car driving along ul. Baletowa in the distance. I consider the attractions of living in this part of Warsaw's outer suburbs and compare them to living a similar distance from the centre of London, and decide that this is why I'd never think about returning the UK. Weather is another factor!

Above: Back across the railway tracks, heading home. I'm in no hurry for this snow to melt, nor for warmer, wetter weather to draw in from the west. The days are getting longer (over ten and a quarter hours of daylight now), and we're a month away from equinox. Despite the gas bills, I could do with a few more weeks like this - then a sudden snap into a gloriously sunny spring.

Home again in Jeziorki. Above: the field adjacent to ul. Nawłocka.

This time last year:
Two weeks into Lent (Gosh it's not even started yet!)
Flat tyre (touch wood - none so far this year)


adthelad said...

Love it!

We had -12 in Konstancin this morning but the air was still, but with bright sunshine and by the afternoon it had warmed up enough for Iza to take our young one for a short ride in his buggy. Our two Owczarki Kaukaskie - Caucasian Shepherds- love this kind of wheather. Must say we envy the solitude you get and the open fileds 'cos our street seems to be a favourite for walkers and their dogs (which drive our dogs - and consequently us - barking mad). Mind you, the mornings are relatively quiet.

Lovely day!

Bluesfrau said...

Beautiful photos...

Aphelion said...

Loved those pictures - winters like that are my favourite season as well. I'm glad you can enjoy this kind of weather and those sights!

Rubeus said...

Winter in this year is beatifule. Especialy if u live (almost) in the country :-)

But also in the town is very nice

See at my blog

PolishMeKnob said...


That is SO beautiful!