When the music of the night dances off into silence, small icy crystals fall off a dried yarrow branch on a pink-colored morning at -19°C. They burned into flames of the colorful autumn day and now they are in the mercy of the upcoming winter till the arrival of spring. And upon that fateful morning, I started to remember something. Like too heavy snow unstoppably falling off branches, my memories came back to me, shining in the sunlight and moving with the wind.
Minus 19, minus 23, minus 17… The cold reaches far into your body and chills you right to the bones. You feel a sharp pain when breathing in and out, but your steps move on. Why do we drag ourselves out, if the warm comfort of our home is much more pleasant? I see the shimmering red colors of freezing water in front of me, other moments it is like watching through a frozen curtain of tree branches. Other times it is like a silent step in the endless wildness.
In the untouched white of the snow, a trail is leading through it. It is almost like a sin, breaking this pure whiteness of the snow with steps, but like willow branches in the wind, lively dancing left and right, it is a feeling of eternity, playing like snow crackling under your feet and stimulating streams of though. They wave by like swirling wheat fields in the summer…
It is lonesome; so still. Birds seldom chirping in the distance here and there. The look sometimes stops on fresh tracks of does before me, tracks that show how the doe fought her way through the deep, deep snow.
Sometimes they were alone, sometimes with others. Yes, like me, sometimes alone, sometimes in company. It so beautiful especially if I can share my happy feelings of exploring this magical winter wonderland with somebody, sharing all my crazy experiences and joy. After all, Stane and I make our own way together to the steep mountain top. Our vision is clear and our will strong enough; even though we knew that we would not be back by nightfall. We walked a windy way around in silence, between frozen trees we trudged through the snow, which was as deep that it reached all the way up to our knees; and in that pure whiteness our inner heart warmed us, although you feel how snow is freezing right on your trousers as you go along. It was monstrously beautiful, if anything of the sorts even exists. It is hard to explain my feelings, the experience and, as many times before, in moments like these, I wish I could write down my every though as I experienced it.
There is something primal in doing this, something that drags me back each and every time. To see the nature in all of its colors throughout the years; and, of course, to experience it firsthand. Feeling your breath on your skin and listening to the thoughts you have, to feel your true self! I can’t even remember how many times my fingers froze solid as I made my first morning photography’s in minus-XX temperatures. But the human soul is joyful and, in moments like these, shouts at the top of its lungs when witnessing each scene and beautiful color pallet in front.
And even if the photography’s were just impressions; the inner experience gives them their true worth. And that is why you have to go, they say, because if you don’t go, you don’t experience any stories for yourself.
dr. Petra Draškovič Pelc
Born in the Slovene Štajerska, she chose to live in Kočevje and the mere thought of adventures in the wild nature of Alaska gets her heart racing like a wild animal. She enjoys silence, peace and the beauty of the light-flooded wilds of all the untouched corners of the world, as well as the beauty of her local Kočevje-area and Slovenia. She is an enthusiastic traveler, a curious admirer of nature, a tourist guide, author of countless articles in Slovenia as well as abroad and a doctor in biomedical science, who found her calling in (natural scientific) photography. Throughout her work with ARS NATURAE she tries to express love towards nature and its preservation.