January 1st


I enjoy my New Year's days with snow. I know that seems like a ridiculous statement, but growing up in midwestern northern Illinois, you could almost always guarantee two things around the New Year: 1. you would most likely have snow, and not just any snow, but usually fresh snow, right off the tail of a New Year's Eve storm, and 2. it would be downright frigid.

Six years ago, I moved away from Illinois to the front range in Colorado, and I was surprised to find out; it's not as snowy there during the winter as one might think. I also spend most of my time on the road in the southwest during winter, and I've come to miss those fresh winter mornings of new snow and that chilly air, especially on New Year's Day.

On the first day of the year, there's something remarkable and familiar about a new cover of pure-driven snow to signal a fresh start. The trees and foliage, covered in a fine layer of snow or ice, sparkle like glitter in the sun. Standing there, taking in the scene, I mused the landscape was getting ready for a fresh start, akin to many of us waking up on those New Year's mornings. The world resembles a clean, untouched canvas, waiting for new memories and experiences to be written.

I was fortunate enough to be in Wyoming this year, right after a blustery snowstorm. New Year's morning found me en route to the Tetons to photograph wintery landscapes. Along the way, I happened to drive past a beautiful winter scene filled with icy trees sparkling in the morning sun and a landscape blanketed with a coating of new snow. Warmer than the surrounding atmosphere, the river sent up ephemeral shapes of steam through the -7 degree air. I inhaled deeply, the cold air rushing through my airways, and that midwest feeling came back for a moment. After many years, I was experiencing a New Year's morning, bringing back the fondest memories of those Midwest days and a perfect way to start 2022 and this new endeavor of a project.
Photo © copyright by Jennifer Renwick.

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