I do a fair amount of walking in late December. Whether I am looking for elusive Christmas gifts or on late night walks home from friend’s, for years this is how I have experienced Regina.
On December 8th, 2010, walking home from work around midnight, I took the following photos (after the jump).
I have seen some ice incrusted buildings this winter, like the one above. Usually the ice is fanning out of the down-spouts, like a flowering column wider at the base than the top.
Parking lots, like the one near a church, are destitute spaces all week except for a few hours Sunday morning. In winter, however, parking lots help form an important seasonal built feature; the snow pile. As a child, these mounds of snow were the sight of king-of-the-hill show downs, the base for many a snow fort and ice cave; generally an endless landscape of imagination.
Held safely behind a barbed wire fence, neither rabbit nor coyote disturbs the snow at the local pool.
In some cities I imagine the greatness of the built environment can, on most days, overpower the natural forces of the region. Regina is not such a place. The wind sharpens the city, warping trees and carving shapely snow drifts.
Light is all important in winter. The snow makes everything brighter and the nightly haze reflects as well. In the prairie, an overcast night would be pitch dark. In the radiant city, the air is a red – orange reference to street lamp light, brighter than a cloudy day.
The rhythm and pattern of the lights, combined with a tree wall and canopy, generate tubular tunnels. Where there is light, there are shadows creating a tiger-trail for pedestrians.
The lights are on, but no one is home. The dead avenues, with the snow shifting under feet, that’s my Regina.