February 6, 2012

Cold Mountain

I’m on the trail to Cold Mountain.
Cold Mountain trail never ends.
Long clefts thick with rock and stones,
Wide streams buried in dense grass.
Slippery moss, but there’s been no rain,
Pine trees sigh, but there’s no wind.
Who can leap the world’s net,
Sit here in the white clouds with me?

~ From Cold Mountain by Han-shan, translated by A. S. Kline


  1. I'm not only feeling the cold, I'm also intimidated. I have no experience driving in this kind of weather, but as is usual, you've made me feel like I'm tagging along with you. The fourth photo where we're looking down into the tree tops is a nice ending for this road trip

  2. Brrrrrrrrr . . . if we wait for the perfect moment when all is warm and safe mountains will never be climbed nor happiness achieved.

  3. Nice! I think roads like these have an edgy sense of adventure when snow begins to accumulate. Less predictable what's around the next curve...will it get heavier and heavier? Will it turn to ice? How much gas do I have? Did I put blankets in the trunk? If I had to ditch this car, how far would I have to walk? And while thinking such things one is still captivated by the mystery and magic all around...

  4. It's photos 1,3,4 for me, which makes me re-realize that my tastes in art might be pretty conventional. Photos 2 and 5, however, nicely finish up your effort to give me frostbite. As I've probably said before, you make me feel I'm there, taking in the uncomfortable beauty and solitude.

    (mythopolis said it better)

  5. Or imagine what supposed to see these fantastic shots of these fabulous forests, to me that I live in a warm area of Europe and snow would be a true miracle.A big hug!

  6. Were you driving the treacherous mountainous roads and able to take photos along the way? Great pictures. Lovely ride. We have been getting plenty of snow here in Nebraska the past four days. I had trouble getting the car down the driveway Sunday. Several weeks ago I shoveled snow for a very long time and my back has not recovered yet. So this time I am not shoveling much. Just the sidewalk from house to street. I know that the snow is nothing new for you considering where you grew up so maybe that is why you are comfortable in any weather conditions.

  7. Just looking at these is making me wonder where i put my karakul hat and alpaca gloves (answer--a memory compartment, decades old).

  8. Oh the soft, quiet beauty of woods and mountains in winter. You've captured the sense of 'aloneness' that I love. Thank you!

  9. Passing through, best way to see snow. No lingering. Although the quiet moment in the last photo allows the subtly changing rhythms to be made manifest. The sighing of the trees as they hold the snow; the patterns of the varied branches; the fading of foreground into background, into cold mystery. Cold, yes, and yet somehow warm in these soft tones.

  10. quiet - and quiet again, and a sense of peace which is nowhere else to be felt... and the feeling of being protected (the car as a small house, no?), while outside there is this frozen stillness of beauty.

    the poem is gorgeous, i keep repeating this: Pine trees sigh, but there’s no wind.
    indeed, looking intensely at your pictures, i suddenly seem to hear music, that prolonged sigh of the pines...

  11. It surely looks cold... but beautiful! The bottom shot is my favourite, love it. Great title too (I enjoyed the movie).

  12. I want climb into these photos! They are so beautiful and they bring back memories of going to the mountains when I was a boy.
    I love snow maybe it's because I was 21 yrs old when I first saw it fall and before that I only saw it on the ground in the mountains once a year. Unless you count seeing it from 60 miles away. :)

  13. Wow, That was really cool! I'm sure that place was really cold, I need to wear my sweater when I visit on your place :D

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  14. To leap the world's net, and sit in the clouds... will take that off to bed with me, to feed a dream or two...

    Was expecting to see a bear come lumbering out of the woods there, or maybe a mountain lion, the place seems ominous, brooding, a place of hard travelling, visions of Donner Pass come to mind ?

  15. Moody, dark, beautiful and COLD!
    Nice photos! We just got back from our camping spot on the mountain. Five weeks and zero snow!