Still Learning To See

“Better than all the riches…”

Thank you to my young friend Kate Spring for sharing this Mary Oliver poem in a recent blog, a blog I encourage you to follow as she is a wise person and a wonderful writer. The poem really connects for me at the end of this crazy year:

Don't Hesitate

There have certainly been many times this year I’ve felt hesitant and, thankfully, many more when I’ve felt joyous. This world, even for all the horror we have created, is truly rich and so satisfyingly full of love.

In the past year I’ve made nearly 6000 photographs. Of course many are due to be put in the trash can and some I’ve not even (really) looked at yet, but I’ve had fun these past couple of days sorting through them. My intent had been to find one photograph to share from each month but ended up with a few more than that. Please forgive me and enjoy what you can. I’ll post some on each of the days remaining in the year. Do click on any of these small images to see them larger.

Winter is an essential part of Vermont and I love to photograph ice and snow:

Often I’m out with my good friend Rob Spring, a fabulous photographer and father of Kate. This is a small stream we photograph all year round, extra carefully in the winter! We find ice with endless patterns and textures, true treasures!


And while I love to move in close and see abstractions, the Vermont landscape in the winter also deserves being seen, no matter the temperature!

As much as I love the Green Mountains, I also enjoy flying to other places and photographing both from the air—here is Lake Erie…


…and on the ground, here in Central Park:


Sometimes I just buy tulips from a local grower and pretend spring is on its way!

As the sun gets higher in the spring, Vermonter’s thoughts turn to “sugaring”—the fine art of tapping maples trees and boiling the sap down into syrup. The steam plumes, the smells, the whole experience is a remarkable fever for all of us!


Bare branches begin to give way to swelling  buds and then leaves and all of a sudden we find ourselves mostly out of winter and nearly into spring.


Here is the last remaining large American Elm in Montpelier, with winter muscles and then the yellow fur of early flowers and leaves.

While I have often found snow covering the daffodils, even then it is undeniable that winter is short-lived.


And then more and more flowers and leaves, all powered by the sun.


More tomorrow! Until then, please don’t hesitate. And thank you for your support in 2018. The New Year starts with the opening of a new show I’m doing with my good friend and collaborator, Dianne Shullenberger, called “Listening to Rocks.”

NBNC Show announcement

This entry was published on December 29, 2018 at 8:18 pm. It’s filed under Ice, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Snow, Vermont, and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on ““Better than all the riches…”

  1. David Harrison on said:

    Dear John Snell,

    This compilation reveals what an amazing photographer you are.

    Fan from Bainbridge Island Washington

  2. Kate Spring on said:

    John, I love your photos of ice, and the daffodils, too! Thank you so much for reading my blog, too—you and Liz are both such important and constant sources of encouragement ❤️

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: