A million sparkling angels

The silver of dreams

Monday night: first real snow of any accumulation.  Three inches of silvery shining shimmering icy wet snow.

As we slumbered at midnight, the soft cold snow tumbled from the heavens toward earth, a million sparkling angels blessing the frozen earth. 

First snow!  The world is transformed in pristine beauty.

In the woods

The snow takes away our breath.

We linger along snowy paths, our eyes seeing only exquisite etchings of silvery-white. 

At the gate

We’re at the gate of winter now.  Maybe not in southern climes which more closely align with the Solstice and Equinox curves.  But here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula the first snow heralds Winter with a soft whisper of white.

Mystery of snow

It was good to tramp in the woods yesterday.  Good to follow the icy branches wherever they beckoned.  The bottoms of my jeans were soon soaked and I dug in the basement for the heavy Sorel boots and tucked the wet jeans inside them.  Returned outside for more beauty.

Silver in the Silver River

Frozen etchings

Most of the day the skies looked leaden gray.  The white etchings refused to twinkle like they do in bright sunlight.  That was forgiven.  First snow keeps us enthralled whether the sun shines or hides beneath dark clouds.


By last snow–in April or May–we’ll be jaded.  Indifferent.  Satiated.  We’ll be ready for purple violets and wild leeks.

Not yesterday.

Yesterday we gasped in awe and fell on our backs to make snow angels.

It’s the only way to properly greet the season.

When do you expect your first snow of any accumulation?  Does it enthrall you?  Are you transported to childhood, to innocence, to joy?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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50 Responses to A million sparkling angels

  1. Kiah says:

    Can’t wait to come home and play!

    • Kathy says:

      Should we count the days ’til you come home? I can’t wait until you get here, too. Although–I confess–I hope it’s not snowing on the day you arrive and leave.

  2. Kathy – I’m captivated by your breathtaking black/white photographs, and I enjoyed reading your supportive words:

    “exquisite etchings of silvery-white”
    “with a soft whisper of white”

    I love the beginning of snow season. As it wears on though, and we’re more home-bound by its icy fingers and frigid breath, the enchantment eventually wears off.

    • Kathy says:

      Guess what, Laurie? tee-hee, I couldn’t wait to tell all of you! These are NOT black/white photographs. I swear. This is what it looks like on a gray day. Almost entirely black and white. I guess they ARE black and white photographs, then. They’re simply not digitally altered.

  3. Our first snow could come any day now. We had a dusting last night which as since melted away. The winds over Lake Ontario play a big part and may bring it this weekend. Unless it shifts north and then the first snow will have to wait.

    • Kathy says:

      I am wondering if you are getting snow now, Scott. We’ve had snow most of Thanksgiving–on and off. South of us in Michigan they got mostly rain. The winds over the Big Lakes control so much. We never know, do we?

  4. Divine Beauty made better by your photos!!

    I love winter….I especially love the snows that when you look down at the ground there are sparkles among the white blanket….!

  5. Sue says:

    I love the first snow of winter because it’s Magic! It totally transforms the world around me. No other season announces itself in quite the same way. Winter happens overnight, while all the rest come on with fits and starts.

    Yes, I would love to be making snow angels with you, but I don’t know yet when our first snow will arrive.
    I love your pictures today…..I can hear the quiet of the first snowfall.

  6. jeffstroud says:

    Beautifully capture first snow, I love Silver on the Silver River! Once again you have capture the world with words and image wondrously!

    Snow for us could be any time but more likely late next month! Here on the east coast (NJ) !

    • Kathy says:

      Hello dear Jeff, I am glad you loved the way the silver sparkled on the Silver River. Wonder why snow feels/looks silver when it’s all icy. Wishing you a white Christmas over there in New Jersey. Except not on days when people have to travel. lol! (as if there would be a day when no one had to travel…)

  7. Colleen says:

    Kathy, yes…it always took my breath away too. The sheer beauty and magic of that first snow fall. It’s been such a long time since we’ve lived in a climate where snow is a winter certainty but the memories of these first snow-moments have never faded. I loved that part of winter too … and still do even thought other other aspects have gradually lost their appeal 🙂

    Your beautiful pictures have been nudging me this morning…..memories of many walks in the woods and fields. And of snow angels, hundreds of snow angels. On Christmas eve we (all of the women and girls in the family) used to go out and make snow angels around the small town where my mom lived….weather and snow conditions permitting.

    Many blessings to you and your lovely family tomorrow.

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, what a beautiful Christmas Eve tradition! Angels making snow angels…oh how beautiful. (I know what you mean about certain aspects losing their appeal. However, since we have to live in such a snowy climate I try to keep the shine on the appeal.) Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family as well!

  8. emaclean says:

    Love the b&w Kathy! Gorgeous!


    • Kathy says:

      Erin, thank you. I am thinking about writing a blog “We Live in A Black and White World Six Months a Year.” lol… I’ll bet you are enjoying the season in a little bit warmer way.

  9. sonali says:

    Oh dear!!! I have never seen any snowfall in my life and your pictures are clearly conveying to me what I miss in this magnificent world. So sad. But, must say, winters your side are lovely! Only reminds me of a fairy land from the fairy tales I used to read when I was a child. *Still Dreaming* 🙂 Atleast I’m happy that I know some one who posts pictures and shows me how the world is on the other side! thank you so much 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Sonali, that is the sweetest thing. I am SO glad you enjoyed these pictures. (More coming soon, stay tuned.) Knowing that you liked them makes it worthwhile to post them. (I still want to visit your part of the world, too.)

  10. P.j. grath says:

    Lovely, Kathy! You’re way ahead of us with snow, but it’s lovely here, too.

  11. Susan D says:

    Stunning capture of our glorious corner of the world. Thank you. I can smell that “first snow” air …. nothing comes close to that kind of freshness …

  12. Beautiful Kathy! I thoroughly enjoyed my winter walk with you this morning. As you know Mayne Island, the southern west coast of Canada got its first snowfall unusually early on Saturday November 20th. Many of the trees were caught with their fall party dresses on so I didn’t get these “exquisite etchings of silvery-white” that you have provided here. Just lovely!

    • Kathy says:

      You did get your first snowfall early this year, Terrill. And you had such lovely photos of it. (Especially your photos in the sunlight.) I was envious of your early beautiful snow. For a few minutes. 🙂

  13. John says:

    I like the touches of the tan grasses left in the Silver River picture. Very nice technique. So you must have already spent the money on Adobe or one of its cousins. I so wish I could be there to see it. Maybe week after next.

    • Kathy says:

      No, John, no! I didn’t purchase Adobe to color in the tan grasses or red fence. They weren’t black and white photos…just our world in its stark November natural black & white. Hope you get up for a visit soon. Hope your travel is safe both ways.

  14. Elisa's Spot says:

    OHHHHHH!! The Silver of Dreams is fascinating!!! I am unsure why it is sooo striking to me but it’s temporarily wiped out my memory of any better images that I’ve noted of you. (there are others, they are simply quiet at present)

    I love running outside to dance in falling angel having pillow fights snow! I can say that THIS year, I am NOT looking forward to snow. Everyone is telling me that in Erie,where I must drive once a month now, there is a LOT of snow. This is scary!!! They also tell me, that the residents of Erie, NOW HOW TO REMOVE THEIR SNOW AND KEEP ROADS PASSABLE! I shall have to take that on faith! (or rent a small room in Erie)

    • Elisa's Spot says:

      OH POO!!! No such luck the weather had a mind better than mine! Lake effect warnings(what are those anyway, it doesn’t look fun) and sticking snow here, though I must say…it is more exciting to stuff the turkey into the oven while running to take excited peeks at the falling snow outside!

    • Kathy says:

      I had to scurry back up to Silver of Dreams and remember it. Yes. There is a “feel” to that photo… You know, here’s the scoop. (tee hee, pun intended.) We live in a world of lots of snow. Somehow you have to start existing in faith that whenever you must drive it will be OK. I live with that faith. Doesn’t always work, but does a lot.

  15. Val Erde says:

    Your photos are beautiful, particularly the ‘Silver in the Silver River’ one.
    I prefer my memories of snow from childhood than snow in the present tense… my health suffers in very cold or very hot weather and I find days and weeks of whiteness dull my brain. We had far too much last winter (for the UK, that is!) We’re expecting snow very soon. I love the look of it when it first falls – pristine, no marks but for animals and birds – and the silence is a wonder.

    • Kathy says:

      I know, Val. Days and weeks of whitness dull my brain, too. Shhh… One of the reasons I did the 365 day outdoor adventure was becasue the white dulled my brain too much and I refused to go outside on some days.

      Love your description of the pristine nature. It is so pure. A different kind of snow altogther in the spring when dozens and dozens of animal and bird tracks abound.

  16. Robin says:

    It all looks so beautiful, Kathy. I want to step right into each scene.

    Our first snow should come this weekend. I’m always so excited by the first snow that I have to run out and dance in it.

  17. Emma says:

    “The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” -J. B. Priestley

    Your photos are gorgeous!!

    I don’t know when we’ll have our first snow here, but…not yet. Today’s high was around 50, I think.

    • Kathy says:

      You have described it perfectly, Emma–enchantment! Thanks for liking the sparkly photos of snow. My son and I were having a conversation about 50 degrees today. He’s freezing in California at 50. If we saw 50 degrees again we would think it’s a heat wave. (Enjoy your heat wave…)

  18. Karma says:

    Just love “silver in the Silver River” – beautifully composed shot there.
    Here in New England, the saying goes, “Don’t like the weather? Wait a minute.” I remember a drive home on the Mass Turnpike one day when I experienced just about every type of weather possible over an approximate 20 mile journey. I think my “crusty New Englander” side of me comes out when it snows: gotta clear the driveway, roads will be slippery, people driving poorly.
    I can admire the beauty, but have had enough of it by January (unless it means I get a 2-hour delay to the start of work!). But I did promise to see it with new eyes this year. It is difficult to say when our first snow will arrive; could come next week, could wait til Christmas.

    • Kathy says:

      We have that saying around here, too, Karen. Or “Don’t like the weather? Drive ten miles in the opposite direction.” It’s interesting how much snow we had the other morning (when I took these pics) and how little L’Anse had. And L’Anse is only 12 miles away. I want to try to remember this beauty in January. And March. And May. I really do…

  19. Dawn says:

    When will our first snow arrive? Too soon for me. I like snow when I don’t have to go out in it. but now that I’m working again I’m not looking forward to the commute. If it only snows on weekends I’d be good! We might get snow any time now. Six years ago when my Dad was here for Thanksgiving we had significant snow on the ground. He and the youngsters within the group made a snow fort that stood on the green grass latter in December for several weeks.

    • Kathy says:

      I wouldn’t like the commute in snow either, Dawn. I don’t even like my ten mile drive on mostly deserted country back roads. (Are you a slow driver? I sure am.) Sounds like that was a special Thanksgiving with your dad. Hope you have photos of that snow fort. What a memory.

  20. bearyweather says:

    I shared my first snow fall already … it looked much like your beautiful pictures. That first snow is always so special.
    However, we were blessed (cursed) with two major snow storms in the past 3 days. 18 inches Monday and at least another 8 last night (far from normal for us in November). At school, we had late starts, early outs and 3 days of extremely bad driving if you could drive through it at all … not sure when this last batch of 8 inches will be plowed (because they don’t plow on holidays and weekends any more – an illogical way to save money that just makes life much more difficult and everyone grumpy.) Good thing the snow has created this beautiful, fantasy-like world for us to look at. It will help us get past the hours of shoveling we all still have to do today and maybe just smile a little when the weather announcer says “snow redeveloping this afternoon”. Sigh … guess winter is here to stay in a very big way.

    • Kathy says:

      bearyweather, I feel your pain. I truly do. What a challenge! You guys got the brunt of the storm on the other side of the Big Lake. Thank goodness for the beautiful fantasy world. It helps us to make it through the long winter. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving dinner. Without too much more snow.

  21. aj says:

    hi kath…this is what we came back for 🙂 i like to wish a happy thanksgiving to you and berry from the both of us…take care aj&cheri

    • Kathy says:

      Are you and Cheri back in the UP, neighbor? I am glad if you’re here–it would be nice to see you guys again. Happy Thanksgiving to both of you!

  22. Marianne says:

    As a child, I loved the snow. Now, I love to observe it from the inside where I have heat. Looking at in pictures is great also. Thanks, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Marianne, looking at snow out through windows can be the most peaceful wonderful feeling (as long as loved ones aren’t on the road.) Pictures work too! The other day when I was taking these pics I was cold and wet. But somehow, strangely, it didn’t matter. Too much “first snow” exhiliaration, maybe.

  23. Cindy Lou says:

    Alright, alright…..even though I’m admittedly not the world’s biggest fan of winter, I do love the first snowfall of significance. I’m even a bit excited to trudge out to the shed and unbury my snow shovel to clear the walks and a path to my sauna. Ask me again in a couple of months if I’m still excited!

    Love, love ‘Silver in the Silver River’! Hope your T-Day was fabulous, Kathy – hugs to you and Barry!

    • Kathy says:

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Cindy Lou. Hope you had a fine day. Hope you enjoyed your trudge to the sauna. You are lucky to have a sauna…did you have a Thanksgiving Day steam?

  24. Truly beautiful pictures, Kathy, poetic and full of the wonder we feel every year on such a day. An ever present magic and delight to watch one´s steps in the first snow day. Mine started yesterday, so lovely from inside the house, rather chaotic on the roads. Today the wind is Siberian but the sky of a lovely blue. What I like about this day is the deep silence. Hardly any sound around, all seems to be going more slowly. I so enjoy these moments, Kathy and your pictures add this note of peace to the landscape. Thank you.

    • Kathy says:

      I suspected you would like the softer quieter poetic words and images, Isa. These kind of days nurture the spirit. The landscape and ourselves dance together as One. Today it is melting in our world. The stillness and depth of snow has disappeared, to be replaced by tiny chipmunk, squirrel and bird tracks.

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