It doesn’t snow that often on Bainbridge, but when it does I set out with my camera to capture the scene before it melts. Our cars have just regular all-weather radial tires, not up to handling the steep slopes that cut Arrow Point/Battle Point off from the rest of the Island, so my snow pictures are almost exclusively of parts of our neighborhood I can reach by foot.
These are just a few of my favorite shots from the past dozen years.
Dogs & People Under a Tree
People chatting, dogs playing near the northeast entrance to Battle Point Park, February 2017. (Technically they’re in back of the tree but in this two-dimensional photo world they’re beneath it.) I hope the owner of the blue jacket hanging from a branch came back to get it. You see a lot of forgotten winter gear in the park.
This little shelter in Battle Point Park is a gem. The surrounding fairy-tale white makes it (and its reflection) really stand out. February 2017.
This yard light is buried so deeply in the dark interior of a rhododendron bush that it gives the impression of a night-time shot, but the snow-clad leaves are clearly visible in the winter light. The contrast provides a magical quality to this photo, in my opinion.
Madrone on Battle Point Spit
Because of my work with the BI Land Trust I was given permission by the owner of the spit to go out and take photographs whenever I wanted, so when a light snow fell in early February, 2017, I headed there and captured this lightly dusted madrone with the distant shore muffled by falling snowflakes (I had my camera wrapped in a plastic bag except for the lens). This is private property, not open to the public. But volunteers maintaining this conservation easement get to go out and work on it from time to time.
On the Ice
In mid-January 2017 we had a cold snap that froze the temporary pond that forms during the wet season in the southeast area of Battle Point Park. This shot of kids and adults playing on the ice is my favorite from that day. Another version of it appeared in my 2019 exhibit “People on Bainbridge.” There I titled it “Saturday in the Park with Ice” because it reminded me of Georges Seurat’s Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte, popularized by the musical “Sunday in the Park with George.”
Such a wide variety of activity in this relatively small space with the bare trees standing still—rising alone over all. And as still and contained as a Seurat figure: one woman, staring at her phone.
Our House in Snow
Twenty years after it was planted our Hachiya persimmon tree finally grew a crop in 2016, which an early December snow decorated with elf hats. Unfortunately the fruit never ripened properly and were inedible, but we keep the tree as an ornamental plant even though it’s never borne another crop like this.
The Red Shed
At the foot of Skinner road this little red shed holds its own against a backdrop of giant cedars as the snow continues to fall everywhere. February 2017.
Robin in Winter
It wasn’t until I brightened this photo up a bit recently that I could make out the red breast on this little bird perched on a feeder on the Battle Point Spit. February 2017.
The Last of the Snow in the Grand Forest
The title speaks for itself. Photographing slanting winter light in the woods is always a challenge, but this is my favorite, with just a few bits of snow remaining on the forest floor. Taken in February 2019.
Neighborhood Snow Bear
This is the earliest photo in this set, taken shortly after we moved permanently to the Island in 2008 and met our delightful neighbors across the street. They enthusiastically joined my wife in building a snow bear in our front yard.
The same girl who was standing to the right of the snow bear, 11 years later, preparing to launch herself down the popular snow slope in the northwest corner of Battle Point Park.
Battle Point Spit
Almost monochrome, this shot of the tip of Battle Point Spit reminds me of a Japanese ink drawing. You can see the dots of snow falling all around, creating a serene landscape.
ABOUT PAUL BRIANS. Paul Brians does extensive volunteer photography for the Bainbridge Island Land Trust. He created the photo book Four Seasons on Bainbridge Island (2010), was principal photographer for Natural Bainbridge (2019)and contributed the majority of photographs in Dave and Alice Shorett’s Thirty Walks on Bainbridge (2020) published for the benefit of the Land Trust. He also took photos for some years for Bainbridge in Bloom. He has had six exhibitions of his prints on the Island and his pictures have appeared in many regional publications and on Bainbridge-related Web sites. He posts photos daily on Facebook and is an active member of the Bainbridge Island Photo Club.