At the beginning of 2016, on the last day of a weekend spent with friends in Ellensburg, I headed out to take pictures before we headed for home. And found myself in the middle of a blizzard, flying solo with the Pilot and my camera, freezing my bones but finding some beautiful scenery.

It was really the first time I'd deliberately gone out in a winter storm, by myself. I don't have a track record with driving in the stuff, in spite of living on the cold side of the state for almost 8 years. But today was so beautiful, I decided to risk the roads and explore. My friends live in the midst of old farms and homesteads, some of my favorite subjects. But today I found more than my favorite old barns. Irrigation lines still connected, because the blizzard took the farmer by surprise. A herd of elk, eating hay with a herd of cattle. Draft horses with icicles in their tails. Yellow lichen-covered willow trees, blowing in the wind.

Photography in falling snow is new to me, and I have much to learn about light and white balance when there isn't much light, and the contrast is so extreme. But I had the roads to myself, and the world was magical, and even though I was chilled through, I didn't want to leave.

It hasn't snowed much this winter on the wet side of the state, but I am ever hopeful. We're at the beginning of a cold spell, and snow might be just around the corner. My fingers are crossed that scenes like this one will be possible, without having to travel a hundred miles from home.

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