Soft And Silent #13294

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The Story

A distant winter barn and companion outbuilding wait under an almost silent yet heavy falling snow of a blizzard, standing alone in the whiteout with an old-style split rail fence zig-zagging toward the foreground. Fat, heavy flakes of wet snow were coming fast and could actually be heard falling in the deep quiet making a slight, faint hiss.

There was so much snow falling at once there is no background in the picture. Falling straight down with no swirl, the heavy snow made a thick fog of falling flakes that vanished the horizon to make a white fishbowl view all around. The landscape around me had been clipped and made very narrow. In a short time, the green metal barn roofs would be white and only the matching green trim would show along with a few dark windows on weathered white barn siding.

Most commonly known as a blizzard, this kind of heavy winter snow is what the oldtimers sometimes call a bushbender, which can be memorable, deep, and sometimes legendary. Bare tree limbs and near-bare bushes seen here were soon to be thickly covered along with everything else. Somerset County Pennsylvania is well known to be a snow alley and it can be even more plentiful higher up into the mountains. On this winter day, only a 4WD truck could get around. I was looking for country scenes with winter barns and farms like this one as the snow came down and it was a great photo opportunity.

Nature was creating an interesting moment to stand there being inundated in white by flakes the size of nickels and soon I also had a decent new coating of snow. It only took a few pictures to capture what I wanted of this winter landscape; the beauty of this rural farm blizzard would have been hard to miss. After taking a few frames, I simply stood and let it all be for a short while. I felt all my senses fully and had no thoughts. The pure white flakes and the nearly silent hiss of this winter snowfall filled me like a gift. The oncoming snow was about to change this world entirely for a little while and I let it change me a little too.

Location: rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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