January 10, 2013

The naked blogging tradition continues, even in the snow

The naked blogging tradition continues, even in the snow

Yes, the man in this photo is standing in the snow IN HIS BARE FEET. When he offered to pose for my blog, I told him that my readers would understand if he left his boots on, but he wanted the shot to be completely authentic. “Besides,” he said practically. “I have to take off the boots to get my pants off.” That’s the spirit I like to see during a photo shoot.

I hadn’t really planned on taking a naked blog photo. Sure, I had my camera with me, but that’s because Pretty Colour Lake is gorgeous in the snow. The trails were packed with icy snow, and the trees lined with fluffy snow. I really meant to just take some cliché winter pictures and call it a day.

I was walking with my longtime friend Poet Woman and her husband. Every year, they come into town right after the holidays to visit family, and we go for a hike in the snow. We’d already walked halfway around one lake, the two of us women talking fast and furiously while Tall With White Beard put a word in whenever he could. We stopped at the edge of the second lake, a favourite place for skinny dipping, and that made me think about the naked blogging project.

“It’s too bad it’s so cold,” I said. “Or we could take some naked photos here.” I knew that in warmer weather, they’d both be willing. Poet Woman once spent three days completely naked hiking in the mountains on some kind of vision quest. Her husband, a tall man with long white hair, seems comfortable with his body. They’re both in their 60s – and I’ve found that the older people are, the more likely they are to pose for me.

We were just chatting about the concept of a naked photo — really, I wasn’t even putting any pressure on – when Tall With White Beard said suddenly, “Sure, I’ll pose.” Honestly. I didn’t bribe him or coerce him in any way. There we were, about a mile along a hiking trail, on a cold winter day, in what was a fairly public intersection, the spot where anyone on cross-country skis or snowshoes would cross to get to the second lake, and he was offering to take off his clothes.

“It’s going to take awhile,” he warned me. He stripped off his gloves, took his camera from around his neck, shed his coat, his thick outer shirt, and then his t-shirt. Then came his boots, several pairs of socks, his pants, and his underwear. I think he might get the record for how many items of clothing he had to take off to pose.

I snapped quickly. Some cross-country skiers had appeared at the horizon, but I wasn’t worried about them so much as his feet. I’ve stood with bare feet in the snow, and I know just how cold and painful that can be.

The skiers were young and bundled in warm winter clothing. They took one look, turned around, and went back the way they came. Perhaps the long white beard unnerved them, like seeing Santa Claus naked. Poet Woman made admiring comments about her husband’s physique – and it’s true those long legs made it easy to take a good photo – but the thing that still impresses me the most is that he braved the winter cold to pose. That’s true dedication to the naked blogging tradition.

(Readers who want the history of the naked photo tradition can check it out here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and  here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.)

22 comments:

Amber said...

Fantastic picture! The white snow, the white hair! Naked Santa, indeed. Way to go, Tall with White Beard. How brave. My feet shivered just looking at the picture.

I love this photo tradition!

kathy a. said...

omg. tall santa friend wins -- like everything. forever.

also, you kill me with talking about this spot as a busy intersection!

Lorianne said...

Forget about Santa...it's WALT WHITMAN! You know that Walt would have posed naked for you in an instance.

To quote Section 2 of "Song of Myself,"

The atmosphere is not a perfume—it has no taste of the distillation—it is odorless;
It is for my mouth forever—I am in love with it;
I will go to the bank by the wood, and become undisguised and naked;
I am mad for it to be in contact with me.

jo(e) said...

Lorianne: Oh, that's perfect!

Sandy said...

Fantastic! Makes me shiver to look at those naked feet in the snow.

patrick said...

I like how he looks as though it's just another day by the lake, standing naked in the snow .

Jeff C. said...

I like his pose, head held high as if he naturally belongs here despite the weather.

Sarah Sometimes said...

I LOVE the description of how much clothing he had to take off!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

He is kinda cute. :-) :-D <3

Naked Santa, Walt Whitmam, sweet and courageous.

Cindy said...

Great pose!

I love this tradition.

Annette said...

That is fantastic! Perhaps we should ask B James since the older they are the more likely they are to pose! Ha!! I read this to my husband...truly excellent. Oh, and as an aside, when we were younger my brothers would have competitions over who could stay in the snow barefoot the longest...the Navy boy won!

readersguide said...

Wow. Just wow.

That is some beard!

Anonymous said...

The white beard is just perfect. Well done!

Michelle said...

What a gorgeous picture on so many levels...the white bearded man standing on the white bearded earth, and the ease in the midst of unwelcoming cold!

Zhoen said...

Very impressive. Photographer and photographed.

robin andrea said...

Love this photo. Beautiful naked moment in the snow!

Tie-Dye Brother-in-law said...

I love it!

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall stay the naked blogging tradition.

(How do you keep "gloom of night" from interfering with the naked blogging tradition?

...

"Flash" photography, of course. :-)

Rev Dr Mom said...

My first thought was, "Oh look it's naked Santa!"

Magpie said...

it's so perfect i'm feeling somewhat weepy with joy.

Erin said...

Awesome photo, but I'm trying to figure out how this never came up in conversation... What a surprise! :-0

henniemavis said...

OMG, so sooooo glad i didn't miss this post! (better seen late than never, I'm behind on my reading) How totally AWESOME!!!

henniemavis said...

Oh, and the Walt Whitman reference with poem excerpt is the BEST! Kudos to Loraine, indeed :-)