Spring . Summer . Fall . Winter

View in Winter Snow

In the winter with the leaves gone, the forest opens up and one can see through the trees across to the farm up the trail, the mountains on the other side of the river, and down into the valley.

chalet in forest 2011


Winter Sunrise                        View from the balcony
Winter came early in 2005 with a heavy snowfall in late November.


Balcony in snow 09

entrance in snow 2011

Garden in snow


garden 2011
The garden is very different in the snow

Leaves of the Japanese maple in the snow

"Snow flower"                          Helebore (Christmas rose)

The forest floor is carpeted with dead leaves

The ice forms interesting patterns and crystals
ice wave   ice patterns

ice crystals

If ice has formed on the tree branches, everything sparkles like diamonds in the sun.

Trees coated in ice in the winter sun

In 2008-2009, it was cold for so long that seepage on the upper road froze into a long slippery ice slide.

road with ice

With the trees bare in winter, it is possible to see my chalet from the other side of the valley across the River Usses.

View from Frangy
The snow on the roof of the chalet is barely visible through the trees in the centre two thirds of the way up the mountainside, below the arrow.


When it snows, everything turns quiet and white. Now that the chalet is well insulated, it stays toasty warm inside with a fire in the fireplace stove.

Walking along the forest trails, everything is different.



The wildlife leave their tracks in the snow, so I can see that the badgers are still active in and out of their holes. The tracks of deer and hares are also common. They often use the trails I have built through the forest.
Badger dens in the forest

footprints footprints in the snow

I can see much further in winter when the trees do not block the view.

view 2010

Collecting wood for the fireplace is a year-round occupation. Since the chalet is at the top of my property, the wood has to be carried up hill using my trails. This ensures I get exercise when no other gardening is possible.

Carrying firewood up to the chalet

Carrying wood in the snow
Clothing is unnecessary when working


carrying a log

Building trails through the woods has been one of my favorite activities since I was 14 years old and built trails through the forest where I lived in California. The steep slopes on my property make this particularly challenging. In the winter snow, the trails get slippery and I have to clear them if I need to carry firewood.

Clearing and repairing one of my forest trails

For kindling, I cut up branches and small trees with large shears. This way I get warm twice, once in cutting the wood, and again in burning it.


There are sometimes trees to be thinned or removed
Cutting a tree

Cutting up fallen trees

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Last updated 30 December 2014
Photographs copyright © Arthur Lyon Dahl 2005-2017, all rights reserved