Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Colour me winter

There's a chill in the air in Brisbane town.

After what felt like a very long, hot summer, winter seems to be finally here.

When it drops below 20 degrees in the Sunshine State, it's not to unusual to start to see a proliferation of scarves, gloves and even the odd ski jacket.

Let's face it, we're just not used to not sweating.

Even if the city dips below 10 degrees Celsius (which is rare), it doesn't stay there for very long and by the middle of the day, the scarves, gloves and ski jackets have long been discarded.

Unfortunately, the Brisbane cold isn't the "useful" kind that is ever going to produce any snow.

Still, stepping out on a few crisp mornings, you could almost imagine that a snowfall is on its way and it won't be long before you are pulling on your ski boots again.

Many people think winter is a grey time of year, but I enjoy the fresh reprieve from the summer heat and sweat.

And the season doesn't have to be dark and dingy at all.

The Canadian ski resort of Silver Star proves that even in the icy depths of winter, it can still be a vibrant and colourful time.

Silver Star is an impossibly pretty resort, with luminescent, coloured buildings radiating, even on the cloudiest grey day.

And what to do with all that snow?


Each year, the resort hosts an ice sculpting competition as part of its winter celebrations.

During the course of a few days, with teams of sculptors working around the clock in sub-zero temperatures and the odd snow storm, familiar shapes and figures start to emerge from compacted blocks of ice and snow.

The result: dancers, people, turtles and the more abstract creations, all vying for attention of those wandering the resort's "main street".

And like the passing skiers and snowboarders, these ice sculptures must surely hope that winter hangs around a while longer and that the melting summer temperatures are still many months away.

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