In Celebration of Mid-Winter BeautyTagged:
Winter is just objectively the best time of year. Do not attempt to correct me on this matter.
Here at Château Weekend, we love winter.
Well, more accurately: 1/3rd of us love winter.
- The Weekend Editrix despises winter, a position with which I sympathize but do not understand. Comme d’habitude.
- The Weekend Publisher doesn’t much care for it either, mostly because we take down his summer tent on the deck. He then has to confine his winter backyard stalking activities to a little canvas hunting blind (a.k.a. “pet playpen”), as shown here, menacing wild turkeys. (Perhaps he will be happier when we build him a solarium on the deck, with a cat door?)
Dear as those two are to your humble Weekend Editor… they are both mistaken. New evidence of the aesthetic error of having insufficient affection for winter comes from an Associated Press article about a mad architect in Finland  (where they do winter professionally.)
The mad architect in question, one Pasi Widgren, took to the shores of Lake Pitkajarvi north of Helsinki on 2021-Dec-04. His instrument of artistic expression? The noble snow shovel. (The particular snow shovel in question is shown in the 3rd photo here. Though I suspect GPS was involved, as well.)
The result is shown in 3 photos from the AP (click to embiggen) of an arctic fox which is 90m tall — say, about the size of an American football field. To get some idea of that scale, note in the second photo there is a human walking away on the ice in the upper left. Basically: big, high-precision snow shovel work here.
The whole thing took, astonishingly, only about 4hr to complete. After that, Widgren climbed to the top of some 45m cliffs to look at the result. (I’m almost surprised there’s that much daylight in Finland this time of year. He must have started in the early morning!)
This is his 6th year of theia mania artwork.
In a way, it reminds me of Japanese rice paddy art, a more summerish sport pursued by Japanese rice farmers who are (a) intelligent but bored, and (b) in possession of multiple strains of rice, programmable planting machinery, and GPS. I love the fact that nobody would have predicted either form of ephemeral art. Both of them are beautiful… and hilarious.
Widgren offered the explanation that he hopes his art will:
…make people happy and encourage them to go out to hike in a beautiful nature.
- Make people happy.
- Help them appreciate the beauty around them.
Now… that’s a version of the Divine Madness.
May we all aspire to the same? Please?
Notes & References
1: JM Olsen, “Finland: Architect’s ephemeral lake art a winter tradition”, AP News, 2021-Dec-13. ↩