This collection of images explores the minimalist canvas of winter in the north. It reminds us of nature’s moods, often through the eyes of the creatures which survive her extremes. Some of them such as the Ptarmigan and Arctic Fox change their coats to camouflage for the seasons, while others such as the leucistic white bison and Kermode bear are genetic rarities. A polar bear’s hair is mainly translucent but appears to be whitish-gold, and the wild horse is born black and fades to white with age.
It is because of these fascinating variations that I have been drawn to explore this pale aspect of nature, at times enduring temperatures reaching below -50C (-58F) to see polar bear cubs emerge from their winter dens.
Snow and ice have many names in Northern Indigenous cultures from the Sami of Scandinavia to the Inuit of Canada. In the Inuktitut language alone, there are as many as 93 words describing specific characteristics of ice and snow. The winter palette is influenced by the sky or cloud colour, moisture, texture, depth, age, and density. It is all there for us to enjoy – while we still can.