Video: Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Tour, Part One: The Peace and The Quiet

The Colorado Rocky Mountain Sculpture Garden

Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Tour

2 minutes 59 seconds

Part One: The Peace and The Quiet

A stroll through the garden while the epic snow gently blankets the valley

~~~

This being the eleventh Colorado Rocky Mountain winter in a row that Kris, Joseph and myself have spent here in Woody Creek I now feel we have developed something of a sixth sense about snow – when it will arrive, whether it will be light and fluffy, deep and powdery, crunchy and crusty, blowy, billowy or as deep and crisp and even as a clichéd Christmas Card.

But whatever the forecast announces, whatever Almanac consulted, whatever experiences dredged up by the long timers, who always have a storm in their closet to put the current sprinkling to shame, we all know that of the half-dozen to a dozen good ol’ dumps we will receive in any given winter one will top them all… for depth, for Champagne Powderiness, for the sheer beauty and splendor of it all.

Sometimes these gilt-edged snowstorms arrive early in the season and raise expectations beyond the bounds of reason, ultimately serving to cloud everyone’s memory of the winter in the trough of resigned disappointment.

Often the dump-of-the-season arrives just too darn late and, although loathed to admit it, most of us are just a tad sick of snow (late February/early March, April). By this point people’s minds are turning due West to the Mountains of Moab where the early spring sunshine is already busily warming the canyons and desert flats to the point whereby they may be comfortably explored and enjoyed in tee-shirts and shorts.

But the festival of snow that we have just savored undoubtedly arrived at the very apex of our winter (I can’t bring myself to describe it as a storm as it was nothing of the sort – the tiny micro-flecks of perfect powder floated to the ground over a period of 36 very pleasant, very quiet hours). Just as the summer has its own apex in the form of a cluster of uniformly warm sunny days in July so the winter ‘tops out’ at around this point each and every year. Of course we will have more snow – perhaps it’ll be even deeper, but what it is almost certain to lack is the stunning lightness and superb visual treat that the recent snow brought to The Colorado Rocky Mountain English Country Sculpture Garden.

As a sculptor I admit that I am completely awed by nature – not just snow, but waves, marine life, bird life, the sky, people, us! I’m continually fascinated by the seemingly infinite variety of shapes, forms, outlines, tones, graceful curves and jagged edges that repeat over and over to form a never ending procession of breathtaking vistas… sunsets, moonrises, windstorms, lightning storms, frozen rivers, dry riverbeds, blown snow, bent grass, molded trees bending away from the wind. But living this past decade a mile-and-a-half above sea-level high in the Rocky Mountains has given me a new understanding of, and appreciation for, snow.

Just as when living in England and the Pacific Northwest we coined many a familiar term for rain: drizzle (of course), squalls, spits, spots, driving, pouring, blustery… not forgetting our families’ favorite BBCism “Rain turning to Showers”…  to mention but a few – so here in the Rockies we have our own vernacular concerning the white stuff: grapple, Champagne, driven, crusty, screechy, scrunchy, (people tend to make words up to best fit the scene, not to mention the activity). But unlike rain descriptions the terms  people hobble together in order to best attempt to describe the magnificence of snow alludes less to the falling and more to the effect of the snow once it has settled upon the ground.

I will readily admit that even after ten years I find that the astonishing transformation brought about by a snowfall never fails to impress and inspire. And when that snow builds upon my own sculpture and transforms it to a point whereby it’s difficult to tell where my work ends and the snow begins I have to say that I’m left in total awe and amazement at the deftness, clarity and  astounding vision wielded by the forces we like to think of as ‘Mother’ nature. For snow would seem to embroil and embody everything in its spell: it reveals and illustrates the shape of the wind, it plays tricks with the eyes and bends our day-to-day perspective to the point of seeing solid objects in a whole new light; it softens edges and hardens outlines, it blankets all it covers and spotlights all it reveals, it is simply an artistic force quite unparalleled in the natural world, and when that world constitutes art in the form of sculpture it then assumes its rightful position as an equally unparalleled force in the world of art.

So, just what made this particular snowfall so very special? First of all it fell over a prolonged period of time – for this neck of the woods that is. Normally a storm bellows up from the west and hurls its snow at us in a torrent of flurries, sometimes furious, sometimes meek, and sometimes it quits altogether until nightfall. But this snow was different in that it arrived with little or no announcement and simply set about blanketing the valley in a foot or two of the most pristine, immaculate powdery Champagne snow it is possible to imagine.

Well to give you an idea, imagine this… imagine picking up an entire massive 18 inch thick plate of snow in the plastic bucket of a giant shovel and having it weigh, well, next to nothing! Then imagine this snow falling so steadily, so vertically that every horizontal surface accumulates its own vertical shaft of powdery snow reaching to almost absurd heights. Now imagine the peace and quiet that descends upon the valley as cars are reduced to a crawl, aircraft are banished, and the thick white blanket serves to cushion the few remaining sounds of humanity… not for a few hours, but for days!

Yes, it was certainly a doozy, and one that I will remember for a great many years to come – not least because I captured it via so many photographs, just a few of which I am sharing with you today.

One day I will no longer call Woody Creek my home and will be off to pastures new, but when I do look back it will be days like these, the purely magical moments, that will not only serve to warm my heart but inspire me to draw from the epic, awesome and truly phenomenal sculptural force that we know as snow.

~~~

Click on a photo to enlarge, run cursor over image for additional information

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

Snowgoyles brave The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

Snowgoyles brave The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

The Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour 2014 02 04

~~~

~~~

~~~

thanks for visiting martincooney.com

~~~

~~~

~~~

I’ll be back with the next installment,

Deep Winter Snowscape Garden Video Photo Tour, Part Two: Morning Has Broken

Soon. Very soon.

~~~

~~~

Bye for now

~~~

~~~

∩∩äΓτ↑π

~∠ •

~~~

~~~

~~~

end