Welcome to another week of Sunday Stills 😊. Thank you for your continuing support by reading or contributing with so many links (35!) to last week’s color challenge.

Silence is this week’s theme.

As much as I would like to share fewer images of snow these days, I will try to keep it interesting!

“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” ― Leonora Carrington

Pink skies create amethyst snow

As you know by now, I live in an area where it snows in the winter. We’ve had more snow this winter than is average for the Spokane-proper area of Eastern Washington (over 2 feet accumulation), and snow remains in the forecast. Our 24+ inches have slowly melted to about 12 inches, which means I can walk around my property without sinking to my knees.

You know how much snow can muffle outdoor noises if you live around or near the snow.

“When light, fluffy snow accumulates on the ground, it acts as a sound absorber, dampening sound waves much like commercial sound absorbing products.” Accuweather Article

Walking with a Lens in All Weather Conditions

Even with all the snow, our streets are thankfully clear. There are no sidewalks within a mile of our area, so walking on the side of the road (not our main highway) is the only option during winter months. During the rest of the year, we can easily walk along the grassy frontages of the properties as pictured below.

I walk nearly every day with my dog. On those walks, I carry my mobile phone for the inevitable photo op.

“Nature’s music is never over; her silences are pauses, not conclusions.” ~ Mary Webb

Silence is Golden

When we first moved to Eastern Washington, I had no idea just how QUIET our rural area is, as well as dark (no streetlights). Aside from the occasional vehicle traveling on the highway, most of the noises we hear are the distant barking of dogs, kids playing outdoors, or an errant bugling elk in the foothills. But you have to be outside to hear these.

The stately Ponderosa Pines and variety of deciduous trees help muffle the ambient noise, except the welcome birdsong.

Green branch reaches through the snow
Golden Silence

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” ~Helen Keller

Silent Snowy Sentinels

White sentinel pine trees
Winter Sentinels overlook our area

With silent winter snow comes the welcome noise of the snowplow! While our main highway is considered a Level 1 road for snowplow maintenance and response, the connecting roads in our area are lower on the list. Our street is a private road, so we have to hire a snowplow to scrape it. During the last pass, the snowplow pushed 3-4-foot high mounds of snow to the sides of our street. As the snow melts it leaves funny-looking shapes, I give you:

silent snowy sentinels

This one is my favorite–what animal do you see?

Seahorse Ice shape
Snowy Seahorse?

This little sentinel snow bunny was a frequent visitor in our backyard last winter and likely lived under my she-shed.

Winter Rabbit in snow
Tiny Sentinel

Today January 22, marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rabbit.

Silent Moose on the Loose

Last week, I checked off another bucket list item. I looked out our kitchen window and low and behold…a MOOSE was meandering in the neighbor’s driveway. Ridiculously excited, I shouted, ” A MOOSE is standing 25 yards away!” Of course my dog Brodie lost his mind, breaking the silence with his barking. As I scrambled for my Lumix camera in the other room, the moose ambled along through the property. I almost missed capturing him with my 600 MM lens at full zoom.

Moose Meander
The Strong Silent Type

“Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Moose are like deer, they are very quiet. Silent forest sentinels, if you will. You won’t know they are there unless you see them with your eyes.

Moose on the Loose
Moose Enjoying a Backyard Stroll

My neighbor got a closer look at Mister Moose after we called her. She confirmed this was an adult male, although his antlers had already been shed for the winter. He looked to be close to 6 feet tall at the shoulder. With Lake Spokane a quarter of a mile away, he was on his way to quench his thirst.

“As of 2015, there were approximately 5,000 moose estimated to live in Washington State. The majority of these are in the Selkirk Mountains (Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry, and Spokane counties) with smaller populations in the north Cascades, Okanogan, and Blue Mountains.” Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife

Many Spokane-area neighborhoods regularly report seeing moose silently strolling the streets. A mom and her calf currently hang out in my brother-in-law’s neighborhood in Spokane Valley.

Moose Fun Facts

  • Moose are the largest member of the deer family. The height of North American Moose, from hoof to shoulder, ranges from 5 to 6.5 feet (1.5 to 2 meters).
  • Genus and Species: Alces alces
  • Moose are gentle giants that only eat vegetation in the form of twigs, bark, soft wood, and leaves of trees.
  • Like cows, they have four-chambered stomachs and chew their cud.
  • Adult males, or bulls, have broad, flat, palmated antlers tipped with a number of points.
  • Antlers are shed during the winter and regrown each spring.
  • Some antler sizes have been recorded at 6 feet from tip to tip!
  • Washington’s moose belong to a subspecies called “Shiras” moose, which is physically smaller than more northern-dwelling moose in Alaska.
  • Moose prefer colder temperatures year‘round with seasonal snow cover and access to lakes and wetlands.
  • Their hooves act as snowshoes and range in size from 4-7 inches.
Big moose track
Big moose track along our north-facing fence

“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” ― Chaim Potok, The Chosen

My Weekly Inspiration in Photo Challenges

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I enjoy incorporating these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

The Sunday Stills weekly-themed photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Remember to title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post.
  • I also recommend adding your post’s URL to the comments.

This Week’s Featured Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared photos that depict SILENCE. I add these all week as new links are posted.

What images can you share that tell us about “silence?” Poems, stories, music, and other creative ideas are always welcomed!

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133 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Snowy Sounds of #Silence

    1. Thank you, Linda! Someone sure had a great drone capture. I had seen this when researching moose for my post. I had no idea they could shake ’em off. When it gets cold, they shed to help retain heat in their massive bodies. Nature is amazing, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Terri. Yes, this guy was very lucky and this was in conjunction with his job – a good day on the job for him! I didn’t know they could shake those heavy antlers off either; I knew about rubbing the velvet off and didn’t know they’d toss them like that! 🙂 Nature is amazing – there is always something new to learn.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the song “Sounds of Silence” and all these photos sure do show the silent beauty of snow. Your quotes are all perfect for your pictures Terri and I really like the moose. I follow a Canadian blogger and she and her husband spend most of the Summer/Fall in their RV at various provincial parks. Their favorite is Algonquin Park where they see a lot of moose. There was an incredible short video on Twitter not long ago where a photographer was in the woods and happened to capture a moose shedding its antlers – they went flying into the woods and the photographer went and retrieved them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can finally report we had snow, the real deal, yesterday Terri. We had six inches of heavy, wet snow and I’m already feeling the effects of this morning’s efforts. I’m glad you saw the video – I saw it on Twitter and went looking for it and saw the expanded version. What an amazing thing to watch. I hope you are lucky seeing one with full rack too.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Terri,
    I love the silence of snow, and 24 inches will muffle a lot of noise, so enjoy. Wow! A moose on the loose! What a treat! I’m so glad you spotted him. When my son lived in Jackson Hole, he had one chase him while hiking in Yellowstone. They can get angry, but you’ve got a good dog to keep one at bay if needed. My contribution is Crater Lake on a cold, snowy day. We were the only ones around, and the silence was deafening. Have a great week! Joe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Joe! Our snow here has melted to about 6-8 inches but more on the way. Far from being out of winter still. Seeing Mr Moose made my day, probably my year. I’ve heard stories where hikers get chased by them. Wow what a gorgeous pic of Crater Lake!

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  3. I love the snowy photos and the moose, Terri. Are they dangerous, or can you approach them without fear? It must be wonderful to have such big wildlife wandering around the neighbourhood, although I guess they can do some damage too.
    I love the silence snow brings, especially when it is falling. It’s one sound that has no problem sending me off to sleep. So when I have trouble sleeping, I count snowflakes, not sheep!

    I’m going for the silence in space this week. Of course, I don’t know if space is silent, but looking up at the stars certainly gives the impression that space is silent.

    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hugh! No shortage of snow around here this winter! I really enjoy it but the sunny days are missing from the equation this winter. Moose can be unpredictable and can run like the wind (as in chase you down)! They are very quiet so I’ve been extra alert for their presence.

      Great image of space–yes, I imagine space is about as silent as it gets!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It was great to read your post Terri and wow a moose!!! Your snow shots are beautiful and your quotes perfect for the prompt of silence. We were away for the weekend at our daughter’s place, to celebrate our grandson’s 2nd birthday, which was anything but silent!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahh yes, beautiful and silent snow. I’ll leave it in your hands to beautify it, lol. I’m looking forward to ditching the snow soon and hoping when I return it’s gone. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, how cool that you saw a moose! One of the things I took away from my first trip to Alaska was: “Moose are huge!”. I see them almost daily now, and I still think that. Huge!! (And they love to eat my roses and lilacs. Grrr.) We had a lot of early winter snow, so many have moved down to our elevation. Everyone is on ‘moose alert’ whenever we head outside.

    No moose on my silent post today. 🙂 https://frostonthemoosedung.com/2023/01/23/sunday-stills-silent/

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    1. I read that the Alaska moose are the biggest of the species! As much as I enjoy trying to take a pic or two, I am super careful–there have been reports of the mama moose chasing neighbors in my SIL’s neighborhood in the Spokane Valley suburbs!

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      1. I think most Alaskans would rather run in to a bear than a moose. Moose are so unpredictable – especially the mamas with young calves! Many of my moose photos are taken…..through the windows of my house, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful photos, Terri. I’m so glad you caught one of the moose! What a treat to have those big animals wandering around the neighborhood. And gorgeous quotes. I love the silence of snow. It’s so dramatic, that I can’t help but notice it. Our rain here is very noisy! Lol. Thanks for the great post. Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the moose pictures! We have them around here but the only picture I have taken was while running up the hill (wearing snow shoes) to follow the bounding moose that we startled. It was not a stellar picture so although we do see hoof prints just don’t see them in person that often. Bernie

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  9. Love the sky in that second shot and of course the snow. The silence of being outdoors, especially in snow a/o at dawn is one of my favorite thing. We see lots of moose in Wyoming and one thing many people don’t realize is how fast they can run! I’m always astonished how quickly they can move among the trees without ever hitting their horns on anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and I enjoyed your post, Denyse! I don’t mind the snow–we’ve learned to be smart with proper footwear, cars that can handle winter conditions, and patience! Enjoy your warm, sunny summer–I’ll be ready for a sunny spring ASAP!

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    1. Thanks so much, Donna! When we moved here I focused on seeing eagles, which has been amazing. I went to the San Diego Zoo often enough as a kid to appreciate the huge creatures that roam the wild, but then to see something like a moose is almost beyond reality. Best wishes on your moose-quest!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely blog Terri and excellent photos, both of which give those of us who live on a different continent and nowhere near Spokane or a moose a great feel for your area.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve had more snow than us, here in Michigan. Lower Michigan anyway. We are getting snow today, but it’s just a dusting. Still beautiful. If my Katie-girl was here we’d be playing in the backyard.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s snowing now, we have maybe an inch. It was green grass this morning. We might get a couple inches, maybe this is the beginning of our winter. Yes, Katie must be busy up there, she has so many dogs to find, but I’m sure she’s found your little one. They were similar, except Katie LOVED the snow.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Terri – I love the variety in your photo collection this week. I’m with you on having to walk on the roads after they’ve been plowed to get to walk outside. Our plows throw so much salt on the roads…do they do that where you’re at too? Does your dog wear shoes? That is so cool that you saw a Moose so close! That footprint is huge. At first, I saw a rabbit next to Snoopy the dog in the ice/snow formation. A seahorse works too. It’s fun to see what forms as the snow-plowed snow melts. Thanks again for hosting a heartwarming post to keep us cozy and warm from the comfort of our homes!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. That’s funny, it’s the same thing with my hubby.
        An ice spike…I like to think about how the original formation happened. How did it start out? Was it a slow drip and then layer, upon layer added to it, and that piece of ice stayed intact throughout it waiting to be the last icicle standing? Oh, dear…I think I’ve been stuck in the house too long…………… 🤔😏🙄😂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Graham! It’s nice that you lived in WA and understand how snow operates. I enjoy being outdoors in the snow–fresh fall really does muffle most sounds. Our snow had been melting, if slowly, but I believe we will have more, even into March! I hope to see more of Mr Moose. My neighbor puts out alfalfa for the deer and he followed the deer trail.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Well Terri, as you know I don’t see much snow here in the south (maybe two or three times in 20+ years!) and that’s the way I like it, but I do love seeing snow photography. Yours is lovely – I can just hear the silence. And of course I loved your moose photos! While not snowy, my post this week focused on the beautiful droplets left behind by a rare frost that coated our sweetgrass. My lens for the one-lens walk was an i=phone which I happened to have with me 😊. https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2023/01/21/lens-artists-challenge-233-a-one-lens-walk/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for enjoying my snow virtually, Tina! I just went outside and saw little bird tracks everywhere likely wondering why breakfast was delayed. I throw down black sunflower seeds for the flickers and juncos. Your photos definitely had the feel of silence–thanks for linking!

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  14. Wow Terri, that is some one-lens walk! You are certainly rural and enjoying all that comes with it. Your images are beautiful, but I’m realizing, with our current weather patterns in Sacramento, I can’t handle cold and damp like I used to. Great response to several challenges!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful pictures, Terri. I love this quote, “I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” ― Chaim Potok, The Chosen This is a super informative post. I never knew so much about moose, which isn’t saying much for my learning. When you grow up in Indiana, it’s not an animal you see often. 🙂 Actually, we don’t see many of them here. So far I’ve seen 0. We did have a deer cross by our front door, though. Vince saw it. Congratulations on your 35 responders. That’s awesome! Have a great week. Talk to you soon. I leave on Tuesday and fly out on Wednesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marsha! There were some great quotes for the theme this time. I may have gotten carried away with the moose, but oh well, you only live once! Two more inches of snow fell overnight, so it seems even more eerily quite than usual. Have a great week too, safe travels!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was so sad but it’s been about a month and a half, and we are all accepting that she went exactly as she would have wanted. Almost like she walked with God and then she was no more. She was active to the very end and loved God. We will be celebrating her wonderful life.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Terri, I love your collection of winter shots. I do love the look of snow… just not the cold that goes with it. >grin<

    Those abstract snow sculptures created by mother nature and a snow plow are fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

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