It’s almost embarrassing to admit this… I’ve lived in Canberra for fifteen years and this weekend was my first trip ‘to the snow’. I’ve never really liked the cold (although I’ve gotten better at dealing with it over the past fifteen years, as you have to in Canberra), and most people I know are already experienced skiiers, so the prospect of doing lessons on my own and then falling over and hurting myself a lot has never held any appeal (can you blame me?!). But then I found out about tobogganing and tubing, and discovered you can do a pretty cheap weekender to Selwyn Snowfields, which is about an hour from Tumut or Cooma, and so off we went.
We hired some gear from Canberra before we left, stayed in a dodgy motel in Tumut, suffered bad coffee and noisy heating, and had an absolute ball!!! Toby was fearless and once I got over the I-left-my-stomach-at-the-top-of-the-hill-and-I’d-like-it-back-please sick feeling, I became a toboggan demon. I lost count of how many times Toby and I went down together, me holding onto his toboggan with one hand and mine with the other, and him screaming at me to let go so he could do it by himself. We stacked so many times: facefirst, sideways, on top of each other… and came up laughing every time (bar one, lol). These first few shots were taken by hubby, and no, I had no idea quite how funny my Russian earflaps looked coming down that hill until I saw the photos.
On Sunday morning, we headed to Yarrangobilly Caves; another first for me and Toby. I’ve been scared of caves since I was a teenager–a teacher and two of my classmates died in a flashflood in a cave in Tasmania. It felt good to overcome the fear, and it was a pretty cool experience, despite the cave juice that kept dripping on me at unexpected moments–ewwww!
Back out in the light and I went a little nuts with the camera. Sometimes the combination of my incredibly adorable little boy and perfect light is a little too much for me: I shot 220 frames in 20 minutes.
Despite being a generally cautious and careful child, Toby has always amazed me with his adaptability to different environments. I love these images because of how comfortable he is, in amongst these huge rocky mountains… finding ways to amuse himself in quite a self-contained way. Even when I suggested he climb to quite a precarious spot, he made himself at home, and sat there singing happily away to himself for quite a while.
After we left the caves, we headed home via Cooma, and somewhere along the Snowy Mountains Highway, we stopped for a final play on a hillside in the snow. Another 420 frames in 45 minutes, and you won’t blame me when you see what the light was doing, not to mention the absolute joy on Toby’s face as he pegged snowball after snowball at me and his Dad! We were all entirely inappropriately dressed for playing in snow, but didn’t care a bit. The sun kept us warm and it was just too much fun. Yes, my camera got hit by one of Toby’s snowballs, despite my thinking I was the nimblest snowball avoiding photographer ever, and yes Toby copped one in the face from his Dad (but don’t worry when you see the pic–it looks nasty, but I promise you he came out laughing).
This post contains some of my favourite images of Toby of all time. I am ever-enchanted by his physical and emotional expressiveness, and although it is increasingly harder these days to get him to connect with the camera, there are still so many moments when I know he will look to me and give me that perfect second I need capture each one of his moods. I will never tire of photographing him; my beautiful, intense, playful, hilarious and favourite muse in the world.