• Don Toothaker

Snow Days are Still Play Days

As a kid, I learned to love snowstorms. The power and energy of falling, wind driven snow piling up, sometimes by the foot, fascinated and excited me. Many years later, as a much older kid now, snowstorms still fascinate and excite me. The power of nature will always be amazing to me. Years ago, the best part of big winter storms were the days off from school. Snow days back then became play days full of fun and adventure. I am happy to say they still are. Big snowstorms now are photography days which, for me, are play days. Especially during a Snow Bomb Cyclone.


It is winter here in New England which typically means plenty of cold temperatures, some bone chilling winds, and a good amount of snow. It also means snowstorms. Every winter there are a handful of snowstorms across New England, but only a few dumps more than a foot of snow at once. So far this winter, much like the last several winters, there has been a significant lack of snow and just last week I was lamenting, loudly, that we needed a good old-fashioned snowstorm. My wish came true this past weekend, but it was not just any storm. It was a Snow Bomb Cyclone.


Living in New England means experiencing distinct seasons and a wide range of weather. There is no avoiding either. Seasons and weather are part of the fabric that makes New England unique and charming. There is no avoiding either. Each season, including winter, can be quite beautiful, but seeing beauty first depends on how you look at it. Fresh snow, ice, and the power of nature are all wonderful, inspiring subjects to pursue creatively. And for fun. So, I do. Winter will undoubtedly be uncomfortable at times, but one must accept the conditions and, like a kid, enjoy them as much as possible. As kid, I had no real concerns in a snowstorm. Yes, I had to shovel the driveways and walks at my house and some neighbors houses too, but that was it for responsibility. Other than that, I woke up, found out excitedly that school was canceled, gulped down some breakfast, and went out to play for hours. Storms, as a kid, were fun. Today during a storm, I have more to worry about and things to do like my parents did, but the little kid in me still exists. The little kid in me still wants to go out and play in a storm. Especially when it’s a Snow Bomb Cyclone.


Certainly, experiencing storms as a kid contributed to my fascination with nature as an adult. Even more so as a photographer. I am not advocating for taking unnecessary risks or being irresponsible, but I have long said that bad weather makes for great photographs. Usually, if you are willing to be uncomfortable you will be rewarded with very special images. I try. For several days the weather forecast was for a significant snow event on January 29th and the media had everyone in a fervor. Especially so when the forecast changed to something that sounded far more ominous, a Snow Bomb Cyclone. The moment I heard the forecast was for a Snow Bomb Cyclone, I was determined to go out and play in it; creatively. So, I did.


Photograph What You Feel


Images shot on Nikon Z9 and Z6II Camera Bodies




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