White Whispers by Bodhi Smith

"white whispers" a brand new impression and blog from me...
 
"nature is quiet with its white whispers. time stops. i can see the snowflakes floating, gently falling with no effort, no fuss. like this, i just close my eyes and allow my thoughts to fall gently into emptiness, disappearing without any effort, falling through the peaceful silence of the snowflakes" ― bodhinku, white whispers amidst the silence of the snowflakes
   
"seeing the virgin snow falling, suddenly a coolness surrounds you and you need not be false because there is no other human being to be false to. you fall together" ― osho, zen: the path of paradox  
 
"going to the woods is going home...and into the forest i go, to lose my mind and find my soul" ― john muir 
 
"it is not so much light that falls over the world, extended by your body its silencing snow, as brightness, pouring itself out of you, as if you were burning inside" ― pablo neruda, 100 love sonnets  
 
"snowflakes falling in
whispers of white,
blanketing the forest in
the silence of their flight...
down through needles of
pine dancing in sunlight,
fluffy puffs sparkle in
crystalline delight
clinging to trees while
they hold on tight...
their glowing beauty
warms the heart to ignite
a transforming of cold-gloomy into
luminous bright...  
it's impossible not to capture
this magical sight,
making this crazy world once
again seem right."
― bodhinku, whispers of white
 
back in my mountaineering days years ago, i used to snowboard in the backcountry in the eastern sierra, this is a song i used to listen, my ipod would pump tunes like this into my psyche as i went down into steep chutes with my hair on fire, off cliffs, then glading through tree forests at mach speed...this wonderful mood setting tune is a foreign techno song from 2010, it's mood is so optimistic, with a message that embraces love as changing and hopeful...this song is upbeat, reflecting a new hopeful happiness in my world now....and with its translated lyrics, plus having almost the exact same name as the title of my impression, it is the perfect accompaniment to connect music with the meaning of my impression and blog today: "white whisper" by deep forest ...(just click on any of the words in the blue links to listen to the musical selection)....
 
"throwing sparks at my frozen angel, gathering the words to coax the fire to start throwing sparks at my frozen angel...words to melt the ice around your pretty heart, turn the ice to water, the water into flood. the flood becomes a river, a river of pure love. love comes into delta, nourishing the sea...sea goes out to ocean. ocean endlessly throwing sparks at my frozen angel gathering the words to coax the fire to start, turn the ice to water, the water into flood. the flood becomes a river, a river of pure love...love comes into delta, nourishing the sea..sea goes out to ocean, ocean endlessly...the second before you walked into the room, i had no thoughts of love whatsoever. love was not on my mind. nothing but my life, my life was all settled in, it was just the way it needed to be. and i fell upon you, like something out of the blue. it was out of the blue, i didn't know. i didn't see it coming, but it came upon me, and it held a hold on me. took a hold on me and i could not help but believe i have faith in this thing. i have one chance in my life and i must take it. and i've got to give it to you and i will not let it go. i will not let it go. it's the only thing i can believe in. oh, all i can believe in" ― deep forest, white whisper  
 
"in the calm all becomes better, like new fallen snowflakes quieting a forest in a solitude of white whispers...when you instill silence within your mind, calm within your heart, and simply let go, a peaceful warmth will blanket you. your soul will blossom into new depths of beauty"― bodhinku, white whispers  
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MEANING
"have you ever noticed how peaceful the world seems after a good snowfall? how a hush falls over the landscape whenever it snows? it's silent as the snow is falling down, and so serene and quiet after the heavy snowfall blankets everything...it's not just your mind playing tricks on you, snow absorbs sound, it's a true scientific phenomena..." ― 
bodhinku, quiet of the snow 
 
while i was standing in the silence of the snowflakes falling all around me, surrounded by the depths of this enchanting forest, i was witnessing a profound beauty that captured me, captivating me. i was spellbound and all i could do was just keep opening and closing my shutter...i was oblivious to time and the cold, and the snow piling up on me. totally oblivious to any other thoughts in my mind. i even had to keep reminding myself to breathe as i was so absorbed into the whole of everything surrounding me that i was holding my breath. all i could think about was how magical and lucky it was for me to be here at this moment in time... 
 
but at the same time, i knew this was exactly where i was meant to be, exactly here and now, this was not by chance....everything was so hushed, i was being politely slapped in the face with a resounding quietude filled with such alluring and irresistible wonders that my soul was blushing...one of the thoughts that popped into my mind: i was quite sure that i was hearing white whispers as each snowflake fell through the trees to become a part of the quiet white blanket covering everything...
 
nature is quiet with its white whispers. time stops. i can see the snowflakes floating, gently falling with no effort, no fuss. like this, i just close my eyes and allow my thoughts to fall gently into emptiness, disappearing without any effort, falling through the peaceful silence of the snowflakes...this is the mood and feeling i wanted to catch and convey with my impression today...
 
but while i was shooting this image, i was really missing another soul who i wish could have been with me and besos in this snow, in this forest, sharing in this moment...
 
all i could do was think of how much she would have loved being there with me, playing in this winter wonderland, kicking up the snow and running into the depths of this frosted landscape, enjoying the rush of the beauty through our camera lenses as we explore such magic together, experiencing this gorgeous wilderness as we absorb the amazing solitude and silence of the snowflakes in this enchanted forest in the eastern sierra ...hopefully we will get our chance together soon...
 
"that silence that falls over the world after a fresh snowfall is likely only temporary, as fleeting as the beauty of newly fallen snow, which is all the more reason to get out there and find some snow, and experience it rather than just admiring it from a computer screen" ― bodhinku, silence of the snow  
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MORE BODHIKU QUOTES
and now here are a few more quotes from bodhinku from past blogs to help add to the deeper meaning of this blog today...
 
"just as a leaf know it is time, in the autumn, it embraces change, as it fearlessly lets go of the safety of the tree, falls and dances to where it needs to be...such a beautiful metaphor for all of us... just let go, dance, and fall in love with life's changes" ― bodhinku 
 
"shhhh...can you hear it? its peace? the silence of the light, and if you truly listen, it will surely guide you to where you need to be..." ― bodhinku, shhhh   
 
"looking back over my memories, my life is like watercolours that have bled and faded. but sometimes i find my blurry reflections are so much more beautiful than a focused reality could ever have been" ― bodhinku, watercolours  
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STORY BEHIND THIS IMPRESSION
"all i could do was think of how much she would have loved being there with me, playing in this winter wonderland, kicking up the snow and running into the depths of this frosted landscape, enjoying the rush of the beauty through our camera lenses as we explore such magic together, experiencing this gorgeous wilderness as we absorb the amazing solitude and silence of the snowflakes in this enchanted forest in the eastern sierra" ― bodhinku, live today 
 
this image is truly a revisit to my old playgrounds in the eastern sierra mountains as a backcountry split-boarder from the late 1990s through around 2011, most often with my faithful doggie, the dude grhs (dec 2003- may 2018)...up until recently, i had not been creating images from anywhere which had snow and/or mountains in them...almost had the feeling i was being unfaithful to my old pup anytime i went up into the mountains or snow with out him, our old stomping grounds...i so awfully miss the dude, who passed away in may of 2018, but i have now been okay with revisiting the mountains again with my new pup, besos...
 
more impactfully, though, is recently i have come to a reckoning in my life. led by a major positive force who has instilled a refreshed vigor and desire inside myself to go out into the mountains, out into the snow, out into the white wintry forests of the eastern sierra and pursue visions in my head from my past experiences and from my devoted love of this beautiful part of the world...scenes in my mind from fond memories that i can now find and then capture for others to see with my camera lens...
 
this positive force of whom i speak is a spiritual person who became part of my life a few months ago. and all of this is happening because these are her favorite places on earth too, just as they used to be mine 15 years ago...she has rekindled the fire inside me again...
 
fast-forward to november 8th, 2020 and i found myself in the eastern sierra during the first significant snowstorm of autumn 2020...6-12 inches of really fresh powder came down with no winds and cold temps...this created a winter wonderland in the morning hours, with snow hanging quietly in the evergreen trees and coating the ground where the snowflakes fell and lay...i am blessed to have been here...
 
i seldom ever create a high key image as this one, but i overexposed each segment of this composition a bit extra on purpose to help bring out the new falling snow and the glow that was happening in the forest on this morning and make the image have a lighter, more airy mood that at the same time creates a sense of solitude and quiet...
 
the picture you see here today is a result of scouting and a bit of decisional luck in driving a dirt road that was erased by the new fallen snow to become a white road with no tracks...i am glad i made that turn onto this road, and drove it up deep into the forest, so much fun, so beautiful, so silent and calm, white whispers amidst the silence of the snowflakes...i know i was meant to see this and be at this spot, at this very moment in time...it was meant to be, so perfect a scene to capture with my camera for others to see and experience with my heart and soul...i was lucky, but it was not luck...
 
"the snow brings me even closer to your lips. the inner secret, that which was never born, you are that freshness, and i am with you now. i can’t explain the goings, or the comings. you enter suddenly, and i am thankfully nowhere again" ― jalaluddin rumi, in the arms of the beloved  
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HISTORY OF QUIET SNOW
"everything was so hushed, i was being politely slapped in the face with a resounding quietude filled with such alluring and irresistible wonders that my soul was blushing..." ― bodhinku, hushed  
 
have you ever noticed how peaceful the world seems after a good snowfall? how a hush falls over the landscape whenever it snows? it's silent as the snow is falling down, and so serene and quiet after the heavy snowfall blankets everything...it's not just your mind playing tricks on you. snow does make the world seem more quiet. there is proof that this is not a figment of your imagination, this is a real scientific phenomena...it's true, snow absorbs sound...
 
some of the new found quiet after a snowfall is logical. people tend to stay home during snowstorms, which means there are fewer people outside and not as many cars on the road. and birds tend to hunker down during severe weather, so they are more quiet during a snowstorm too...   

but there's science behind the silence as well. that's because snow absorbs sound, so when a fresh blanket of snow covers the landscape, it absorbs many of the sound waves, making it seem quieter outside.

the reason snow is able to absorb sound is because it is porous. snowflakes are made up of a bunch of ice crystals. those crystals stick together forming each unique snowflake. they are are six-sided crystals, and they are filled with open spaces of air. they keep the air between the ice crystals. this is why meteorologists always say, "one inch of rain would equal about 10 inches of snow"...those spaces of air inside and between snowflakes absorb sound waves, and as those flakes pile up, they create a quieting effect as a blanket of snow 
 
and its this air between the snowflakes on the ground that allows sound to penetrate through the snow, but once it does, it's very difficult for it to bounce back out. the snow ends up trapping the sound inside of it much like sound-proofing in a music studio  
 
sound absorption is rated on a scale of 0 to 1. something with a sound absorption rating of 0.5 absorbs 50 percent of sound, for example. the sound absorption rating of snow falls somewhere between 0.5 and 0.9, meaning it absorbs much of the surrounding sound.   

not all snowfalls are equal when it comes to silencing the world outside. just a dusting of snow isn't enough to absorb much sound. usually a few inches of snow is needed to have a noticeable quieting effect

 
then over time, the snow settles, allowing the ice crystals to compact. this takes away the space for the air between the snow flakes. plus, as snow melts, it loses its silencing ability even more so because the snowflakes change shape as they melt, reducing the size of the spaces between the crystals. as temperatures fluctuate in winter, newly fallen snow can partially melt and then freeze. once the snow turns to ice, the sound bounces off the snow instead of penetrating into the snowpack. it can actually amplify nearby sounds because ice reflects sound waves rather than absorbing them. the sound absorbing effect is thus totally lost. so the quietest time usually happens while the snow is falling or right after it ends.  

so that silence that falls over the world after a fresh snowfall is likely only temporary, as fleeting as the beauty of newly fallen snow, which is all the more reason to get out there and find some snow, and experience it rather than just admiring it from a computer screen or window.

"one of the thoughts that popped into my mind: i was quite sure that i was hearing white whispers as each snowflake fell through the trees to become a part of the quiet white blanket covering everything" ― 
bodhinku, white blanket of whispers
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MORE QUOTES FOR EXTRA MEANING
next here is a tune that fits with this image with its mood and feel...it's a melodically beautiful song created by a friend, has a deeply wonderful mystique in its driving rhythm, combined with an ethereal set of lyrics that is driving this tune home into the psyche: "down by the water" by timothy and the apocalypse ...(just click on any of words in the blue links to listen to the song)...  

"i am not always just living, just following all my fantasies; i come up for air, for understanding...my mind is wrapped up in everything about you...i don't want to think....down by the water" ― timothy and the apocalypse, down by the water
 
"in silence you will hear the cadence of the entire universe" ― gautama siddhartha buddha, sayings of buddha
   
"the tao can only be communicated from heart to heart, from being to being, from love to love, from silence to silence. truth is always realized in silence. in silence, the truth is realized. you reach to truth through silence." ― lao tzu, tao te ching
 
"the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness" ― john muir, the mountains of california 
  
"between every two pines is a doorway to a new world" ― john muir, the mountains of california  
 
"and into the forest i go, to lose my mind and find my soul" ― john muir

"i want to be, my love, alone with a syllable
of mangled silver, alone with a tip
of your breast of snow" ― 
pablo neruda   
 
"the snow is lovely because it has only one colour...and the snow is deep and knows its own qualities" ― paulo coelho, the zahir
 
"seeing the virgin snow falling, suddenly a coolness surrounds you and you need not be false because there is no other human being to be false to. you fall together" ― osho, zen: the path of paradox
 
"the snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches" ― e. e. cummings, 100 selected poems
 
"snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness" ― 
mary oliver 
 
“i think that i shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.

a tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

a tree that looks at god all day
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;

a tree that may in summer wear
a nest of robins in her hair;

upon whose bosom snow has lain;
who intimately lives with rain.

poems are made by fools like me,
but only god can make a tree.” ― joyce kilmer 

"gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
no—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
to feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
and so live ever—or else swoon to death" ― 
john keats, the complete poems
 
"whose woods these are i think i know.
his house is in the village, though;
he will not see me stopping here
to watch his woods fill up with snow.
my little horse must think it queer
to stop without a farmhouse near
between the woods and frozen lake
the darkest evening of the year
he gives his harness bells a shake
to ask if there is some mistake.
the only other sound's the sweep
of easy wind and downy flake.
the woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
but i have promises to keep,
and miles to go before i sleep,
and miles to go before i sleep" ― robert frost, stopping by woods on a snowy evening
 
"the way a crow
shook down on me
the dust of snow
from a hemlock tree
has given my heart
a change of mood
and saved some part
of a day i had rued
" ― robert frost 

"out of the bosom of the air,
      out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
over the woodlands brown and bare,
      over the harvest-fields forsaken,
            silent, and soft, and slow
            descends the snow.

this is the poem of the air,
      slowly in silent syllables recorded;
this is the secret of despair,
      long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
            now whispered and revealed
            to wood and field." ― 
henry wadsworth longfellow, snowflakes
   
"take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. deal with brute nature. be cold and hungry and weary" ― henry david thoreau, walden 
 
“the grey of winter teases
to explode into something worthwhile,
into a dream of cold,
a starlight shower you can taste,
a cold that does not chill.
i've lost my memory
of my first snow--
did i gasp at a field of white?
or scream at the freeze
until my cheeks reddened?
the soft fluffiness underfoot is satisfying
and the thrill of virgin snow
near leaves" ― 
joseph coelho, a year of nature poems   
 
"maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and cover them. but they were a part of me. they were my landscape" ― sylvia plath, the bell jar  
 
"advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind" ― samuel taylor coleridge  
 
"snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my heart with sweet clarity" ― novala takemoto, missin' 
 
"the wind sings of our nostalgia and the starry sky ignores our dreams. each snow flake is a tear that fails to trickle. silence is full of the unspoken, of deeds not performed, of confessions to secret love, and of wonders not expressed. our truth is hidden in our silence, yours and mine" ― margot bickel
  
"thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder that no matter how old you became and how much you'd seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered" ― candice bushnell, lipstick jungle  
 
"there’s just something beautiful about walking on snow that nobody else has walked on. it makes you believe you’re special, even though you know you’re not" ― carol rifka brunt, tell the wolves i'm home  
 
"a person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. he taught me to appreciate the simple things...a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. and as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty" ― john grogan, marley and me  
 
"all heaven and earth
flowered white obliterate...
snow...unceasing snow" ― 
hashin, japanese haiku 
 
"are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves, o flakes of snow? for which, through naked trees, the winds a-mourning go?" ― john banister tabb  
 
"let silence take you to the core of life" ― jalaluddin rumi, the music and silence of the heart  
 
"silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation" ― jalaluddin rumi, hush don't say anything to god 
  
"be melting snow. wash yourself of yourself" ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
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ABOUT THE IMPRESSION
" i am glad i made that turn onto this road, and drove it up deep into the forest, so much fun, so beautiful, so silent and calm, white whispers amidst the silence of the snowflakes...i know i was meant to see this and be at this spot, at this very moment in time...it was meant to be, so perfect a scene to capture with my camera for others to see and experience with my heart and soul...i was lucky, but it was not luck" ― bodhinku, silence of the snowflakes     
 
this impression is a 2.5:1 panoramic composition created by using the photomerge function in adobe photoshop cc to stitch together 7 separate long exposure compositions all taken in succession of each other (in a portrait orientation), each shot with the same exact camera settings (f/4 at 70mm for 1minute 51 seconds, iso-64). all captured starting at 9:09am on a windless and calm snowy morning in the forest on 11-08-2020...
  
in my photography, i always use filters to create longer exposure effects, saturate colors naturally in-camera, and balance the light in my composition in-camera. and this composition is no exception...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one filter...for this exposure, to get the effects and balance i was looking for, i used two progreyusa filters along with the progrey g-120z magnetic holder in the capture of this composition...  
 
with this being a series of long exposures put together, i needed the great set of filters and filter holder from progreyusa to help beautifully block down the light 10 stops. and as with all longer exposures, a stable and sturdy tripod is an absolute necessity in order to keep the 7 separate exposed images in perfect line on the same plane with each other, and in sharp focus in the places i wanted sharpness (the dark tree trunks and the light green pine needles) and permit for accurate motion blur for anything moving in the image (the snow falling from the sky)...for this i used my faithful induro phq3 series 5-way panhead mounted on my dolica tripod 70" carbon fiber tripod, because it is sturdy, tall, and perfectly compact for travelling  
 
and for this impression, i chose to use a 3.0nd progrey antarctica filter to slow down the morning light 10 stops and permit the long exposure time of 1min & 51sec to create soft glowing luminescence of the sun combined with the high key lighting effect of the exposure, plus naturally extra saturate in camera all the red and green in the composition. combined in tandem with a 0.9 gnd progrey aurora filter to help balance in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned it...in this case, to stop down the much brighter sunlight coming in from the top of the trees an extra three stops,  along with the progrey g-120z magnetic holder to hold the filter and secure it to my nikon d810 mounted with a nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens (shot at 70mm in a portrait orientation)...  
 
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my faithful induro phq3 series 5-way panhead mounted on my dolica tripod 70" carbon fiber tripod, in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take...
 
"if nothing else...if i open my eyes, if i cry, if i think, if i sigh, if i giggle, if i dance, if i love, if i breathe, then i have lived a full days worth of life...nothing is wasted, nothing" ― bodhinku, if nothing else
 
"contemplate without thinking. be certain only in your uncertainty. stop the world. slow down everything. let it all be. shut off the noise. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light whisper as they envelope you. see the melody and harmony that float about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence. now discover your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith with all your senses. this is my world. awaken!" ― bodhinku, my world
 
"my photography is my way of keeping a diary" ― bodhinku, my diary  
 
i leave you today wishing that bright joy and spiritual peace fill your life...imploring you to make every moment count, no matter what, always and forever, for that is the only thing that truly matters...
    
and above all else,
i hope this message and impression find you well.
 
namaste,
bodhi
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