What with the early chill we had this year, Okemo Mountain Resort was able to make enough snow to open early in mid-November, their earliest start in 5 years. So Steve and Earl (two dear friends of mine) and I headed out for our first day of skiing. Only a tiny portion of the huge complex was open, but there were only a few skiers so there were no lines at the lift and the conditions were surprisingly good. The entire day was fantastic and a lot of fun!

Steve and Earl—and, by the way, I want to be as active as they are when I reach the same age!—are both seniors and I was third in line to purchase my lift ticket. It was only hours later that I realized the young lady at the sales counter had made the assumption that I was a senior too. “Thanks,” I thought, with mixed feelings. I mean, the ticket was cheaper, but the reality that I am starting to look the part before I actually hit that milestone is sort of disconcerting. I have no idea what the “Whimsical” on the ticket means. Maybe my reputation precedes me.

Before viewing the photographs, I would also like to invite you to visit the poetry blog, the Book of Pain. As always, special thanks to my dearest Lyn, who does most of the hard part: the photo selections. Thank you for dropping by the Book of Bokeh.


Looking up slope to the bottom ski run…


Looking back down slope to the main lodge…


This handsome devil is my good friend, Steve…


And everyone else was there just to have fun…















All photographs and comments ©2014 by John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.


13 thoughts on “Okemo

  1. Dear John….( famous phrase )……..as far as being mistaken for a senior, it could be the company you keep………and by the way, I strongly disapprove of the company you keep…………..STEVE

    • Strongly disapprove of the company I keep? You know, so do I! They are far too handsome, are better skiers, bike more than me and generally can outlast me in any physical effort they take on. Fair ticks me off if the truth be told. Except that they *are* nice guys…there is that to consider. And they put up with me, there’s that too! Few people do. 🙂

    • You are being very kind and I appreciate it very much! Thank you! Actually, I think I was pretty lucky, because everybody was zipping by so fast that I even got these pictures mostly in focus pleased me! Next I have to figure out some way to carry that camera up on the mountain with me. That and figure out a way not to destroy it by falling down! 🙂

      • Falling down, as in my camera, scares me too. I’m a newbie and think a lot about people staring at me, adjusting angles and loosing a shot. But you are really great with people and emotions as you are with landscape and objects. 🙂

        • Norma, that is incredibly sweet of you to say, although, to be honest, I think it over kind—although I’ll still take it! 🙂 And I am as fond of both your poetry and photos as you are of my work, believe me! As to portrait portrait work, that is something I am hoping to get more and more into over the coming winter as I am more and more reluctant to go outdoors! 🙂

          • Sure, winters tend to limit your work area and it could be frustrating at times…it is to me. But then you have a camera and previous photos. Thank you, John for words of praise for my work it means a lot coming from you, although I think my work still needs a lot of improvement.

            • When any artist thinks that their work cannot be improved, they have become silly, ridiculous and probably wealthy. And who would wish that on anyone?!?!? 🙂

  2. I have to admit that I’ve never gone skiing in my whole life… 😀 I’m kind of scared, I’ve heard many stories about broken legs and knees 🙂

    Is it difficult to take pictures of snowing landscapes ? Isn’t too bright ?

    • Never gone skiing because of the risks? I’ve heard people say that of bicycles, ice-skating and wandering all around the back country of Iceland. 😉 And think of everything that those people missed! Truthfully, skiing is not that hard. If you get a good instructor (and by this I mean a real one, not just someone you know who can ski) you can easily be skiing easy green hills by the end of the first day and easier blue (moderate) hills after a few days. This is especially true when you use modern contoured (and shorter) skis as compared to the boards I learned on in the 80’s. And what a ‘sport’ it is: nice big powerful chairs to lift you up the mountain and gravity to pull you back down. For someone as lazy as me, it’s perfect. Honestly, don’t hold yourself back if you get the chance…it is a gas of an activity. Can you dance at all? Then you can ski.

      Taking pictures in the snow is a bit tricky but nothing that cannot be easily managed after a few tries. Luckily there are thousands of pages of advice on the web but it all comes down to one of three methods:

      1) Do HDR photography. (Good if there is no motion.)
      2) Use spot metering instead of evaluative metering. Modern cameras look at the entire scene to guess how much light is needed. When you switch your camera to spot metering you are saying, “Adjust the light for this one spot.” That blows out the snow, but snow is white anyway.
      3) Adjust your exposure. The rule of thumb is: lots of snow but cloudy, expose 1 extra stop higher. Lots of snow and sunny, go 2 stops. Check using your camera’s histogram if you can. When in doubt, underexpose. Software can lighten things much more easily than darken things.

      Also, set a custom white balance when you start and shoot in RAW so you can fine tune the white balance perfectly afterwards.

      Piece of cake! (Cheesecake, preferably.)

      • Haha ! Yeah, you are right ! My fear is not very rational, and I know it’s not more dangerous than any other sports 🙂

        In Belgium we don’t really have the opportunity to ski, because it is a relatively flat country 🙂 If you want to go skying, you have to go to France or Switzerland. It’s not in our genes I suppose 😀 But I may give it a go, at least for landscape, must be beautiful ! I will know how to take good pictures, thanks to you 🙂

        • A friend of mine says that there are two ways to go skiing. He travels to go skiing but his wife skis while travelling. The difference between the two is that once he gets to a hill all he wants to do is ski, while on the other hand his wife skis just enough to say that she did and enjoys all the rest of it: shopping, lunches in interesting restaurants, the spas, hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, hot tubs, heated pools, walks at all times of day, photography, etc. They have a great time! I mean, hot chocolate in front of the fireplace…who doesn’t love that?!? 🙂

          And while Belgium may not have many ski hills, on the other hand I envy where you live, just for the cycling. The Tour of Flanders, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, La Flèche Wallonne, Gent–Wevelgem, Paris–Brussels, le Grand Prix de Wallonie, the Tour of Benelux and the Tour of Belgium…and that’s just the top of the list and not even mentioning the granddaddy of them all, La Grande Boucle when it rides through the north. Or (and especially when it’s raining) being able to stand on a cobblestone section of the hell of the north, Paris-Roubaix?!?! Now that’s heaven in my books! 🙂

          • I think I would prefer the second option, skiing while traveling. Especially for the hot chocolates and jacuzzi 🙂

            Haha, yes, Belgium counts a lot of cycling enthusiasts ! One time, the Tour the France arrival was at 2 streets for my old house. I went there, and it was so fast that I couldn’t see anything 😀 I think it’s best to watch it from your television 🙂

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