Romanian landscape: Dawn, Mountains and snow

The Cold Light of Dawn

My guide, Daniel Gheorghita, (www.covinnus.com) and I left our hotel rooms early on many mornings. This morning was the hardest as we knew the temperature would be below freezing. For once I was ready with woolen hunting sox, long underware, Patagonia ski tops, wool sweater from Ireland and a down jacket from LL Bean. Oh, yes. A hat and cute little mittens where you could pull back the finger part and expose the tips of your fingers. Rather like the old clerks of Charles Dickens stories. Nice!

Daniel was not dressed for the cold. He tried to be stoic, but he did accept a silk scarf to wrap around his neck. Perhaps his grandma used to insist on a scarf and so it seemed natural for him to accept that offer from me. It wasn’t enough. Once we got to our destination, he had to keep popping back into the car to turn on the heater to warm up. I was toasty except my fingers did freeze within seconds whenever I exposed them to the frigid air.

We waited for the sun to light up the village that spilled down the mountainside…and we waited. The sunlight was not as crisp as we had hoped. That’s the way it goes. We turned our cameras on other aspects of the scene and I got this shot. I was thinking of Jerry Uelsmann who had a best selling print of rows of mountains, one behind another, when I first started photography classes. Jerry got more stria in his sky and he had more mountains, but I’m happy with mine.

It pays to look at the works of successful photographers. Not just for the pleasure, but for storing images in your mind to try to duplicate and maybe surpass. Who knows? Luck is a factor as well as determination.

I named this blog, Fagaras, because somewhere in Romania are the Fagaras Mountains. These may be it. Daniel told me, but I never got it straight because the word Fagaras means more to me than the name of a place.  There is a Romanian folk dance that begins with a guttural Gypsy voice, saying, “Fagaras.” and then the violins begin to play. I thought of the dance  and the tradition of dancing and beautiful music that is Romania’s when we were on the mountain.

The funny thing is that one day we came across a man playing a violin and I asked him to play Fagaras. He did, but I didn’t recognize a note!!


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