Photos in the snowy Alaska filtered photo montage “One Snowy Day” were taken in Gustavus, Alaska.  Homes are scattered among the thick groves of spruce and pine that make up our local corner of the Tongass Rainforest, resulting in beautiful green trees in view in every direction, draped in white after it snows.

It’s been a slow start to our winter this year.  Here it is past the new year and so far we’ve had to call our guy Bobby just once for plowing the long driveway.  There have been numerous minor snowfalls followed by rain, creating a slushy, muddy mess of our unpaved roads; navigating the resulting potholes has been quite a challenge!

We had a very different experience during the winter of 2021-22, with snow starting early and staying late, multiple storms of a foot of snow at a time.  I think we had to get plowed out eight times altogether that year.  There was a run on snow rakes for clearing roofs as the snow stuck around and got heavier and heavier.

Here’s the story behind the image:

After one of those generous dumps, I’m out and about to do errands – post office, library, groceries.  I don’t get too far, though, before being distracted by the sight of the snow load on trees.  Our rainforest can seem rather monotonous at times, with so much spruce dominating.  But the snow landing on different trees throughout the landscape creates such distinctive patterns unique to each species, it reveals the variety hidden in plain sight: big poofy pine boughs, spikey spruce and lacey hemlock’s small needles, twiggy cottonwood and alder.  What a delightful tapestry of texture!  I spend several hours snapping shots of this branch and that one, each seemingly a stronger illustration of the essential snowy tree.

Back in my warm work space, downloading the images and sifting through multiple versions of snow on branches, I come up with the idea of creating this montage… mostly because I can’t settle on one image!  The beauty and symmetry of the patterns so clearly illustrate to me the characters of these trees, I feel we are having an important conversation, each individual with something different to say. And then it becomes a matter of fitting puzzle pieces together, getting a sense of the graceful sweep of the snow-laden spruce or the controlled chaos of the cottonwood.  You don’t see the pattern there until you really stop and look.  Almost a “wait for it” reveal!

Eventually I am satisfied with the arrangement: the long tall cottonwood leads the way for the open arms of the spruce, and then the warm alder and deep green pine complete the line back to the cottonwood.  The composition has its own symmetry and harmony, like a song to sing in celebration of winter.

Snowy Trees Wall Art by Alaskan artist Lillian Ruedrich.  Love this image?  Buy it here as a 5X7 blank notecard.  Or click here to buy more unique Alaska artwork for sale.