poetry and prose about place

a moment of beautiful – trees and shadows

with 14 comments

space: edge of the St. John River in winter

beautiful: mature silver maple trees and their shadows on the snow


We went for a drive last weekend, along the St. John River.  Above the ice, the river is covered in snow, a broad white plain edged by very old and very rugged silver maple trees.

In spite of a harsh environment, these trees endure.  Each spring and fall, they are flooded.  They are scoured by ice and subject to the eroding forces of the river. They are always at risk from people searching for a supply of firewood.   A friend tells me these huge trees are usually suckers, grown from the base after the original tree was harvested.

And yet they grow old, a part of the hardwood floodplain forest.  On a sunny day, they lean over the snow-covered river and spread their shadows across its surface.  They have the beauty of their symmetry, solidity, grace, and fortitude.


the line of animal tracks crossing the snow are probably from a Red Fox

Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

14 Responses

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  1. Such lovely images. There’s something special about shadows on the snow. 🙂



    February 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    • Hi Robin. This summer I met someone who reminded me that the shadow is three dimentional … it occupies the air between the tree and the snow. You probably make use of this in your photographs, as when a shadow falls on an intermediate object. Jane


      jane tims

      February 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm

  2. Your snow shadow shots are beautiful – I’m a little envious because we’ve had no snow to speak of this winter. I love the way the fox tracks cross the shadows perpendicularly…


    Barbara Rodgers

    February 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    • Hi. The tracks make wonderful patterns in the snow, especially where various animals have criss-crossed one another in their travels. Jane


      jane tims

      February 28, 2012 at 6:07 pm

  3. Gorgeous photos, Jane! Winter is a great time for images of shadow and light, it’s almost like working in black & white photography 🙂


    Watching Seasons

    February 27, 2012 at 12:30 am

    • Hi. Thanks. I agree. I also didn’t realise until I was an adult how blue shadows are. Jane


      jane tims

      February 27, 2012 at 6:47 am

  4. I love the shadows in the snow – unbroken, they look like a map of rivers.



    February 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    • Hi. Welcome to my site! The shapes of the old trees, and their shadows, are so interesting. Jane


      jane tims

      February 27, 2012 at 6:46 am

  5. beautiful photos along this river. enjoyed learning about the muscrat, that’s wonderful.. ; )


    dianne - life as i see it

    February 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    • Hi Dianne. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The St. John River is criss-crossed with tracks along its banks. We have spotted a fox once or twice, but most of the river folk are very hard to see. Jane


      jane tims

      February 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm

  6. Dear Jane, I do love your snow shadows and the way you shared here. Enjoy finding the tracks of wild animals and wondering where they are going. We don’t see too many fox in our neck of the woods. When I see one, I am amazed. Thank you for visiting my blog.



    February 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

    • Hi Kathy. Welcome. Tracks are always like a mystery to be solved. I think the foxes are searching for mice tunnels in the snow, or muscrat coming up for a breather from the water. Jane


      jane tims

      February 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

  7. What terrific photos! I’ve driven by here and taken photos in summer. It’s just as lovely in winter, perhaps more so because the trunks and branches show up clearly. Great post, thank you.


    Carol Steel

    February 25, 2012 at 6:56 am

    • Hi Carol. I used to like watching the cattle in summer and the ford at the end of the ‘island’. The whole of the Grand Lake Meadows area is so interesting and beautiful. Jane


      jane tims

      February 25, 2012 at 7:00 am

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