Seattle Skyline, Queen Anne Hill & Interbay neighborhoods from Ella Bailey Park, Magnolia (February 13, 2021).

“Snowmageddon Chronicles”: Part One

Contrary to popular preconceptions and misconceptions, snowfall is infrequent in Seattle, and blizzards are even rarer. That’s why the snowstorm Seattle received between February 12th and 13th is rather historic. The Emerald City was buried with nearly nine inches of snow, making February 13th the snowiest day in Seattle since January 1969.

Since we typically don’t get that much snow when it does snow, I thought it would be a good idea to document the occasion. (Also, it was helpful and motivational that many friends and contacts encouraged me to get off of Twitter and engage with Mother Nature’s creation). Because the snow is supposed to melt within the upcoming days, I also wanted to be prudent and deliberate about my objective. The sooner I obtained some images, the less risk there was to miss special moments and opportunities that would be lost as soon as the snow melted. As I stated in my tweet (to the left), I had no intention on driving in nine inches of snow considering Seattle, as America’s 18th largest city (by population), can be paralyzed without difficulty with only one inch of snow! That’s not hyperbole — just ask anyone who has lived in the Puget Sound region about his or her experience with snow in this region. You will receive a wide spectrum of reactions from one extreme of utter adoration for snowfall to the opposite extreme of utter abhorrence.

The title of this blog entry is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek because anytime Seattle gets any snow, whether it’s a half-inch, a foot, or a light dusting, residents are quick to label the event as “Snowmageddon 20__” followed by the year in which it takes place. Fortunately, after living here for 14 years, I can only recall two or three previous occasions in which Snowmageddon did seem to live up to its hype. Over time and with plenty of real-life references to observe, Seattle has become much better accustomed to being proactive when blizzards are predicted. I think this year’s Snowmageddon, as I type this entry, has been handled efficiently.

Admittedly, I don’t mind snow at all, and walking through the snow does reconnect me with my inner child.

Because I refused to drive on account of safety and self-preservation, the weekend of Valentine’s Day was spent exploring Magnolia, my neighborhood of Seattle. (Trivia note: Magnolia is also a peninsula that would be isolated from the rest of the city if not for the three bridges that connects them).

Let’s delve into the photography! Enjoy.


Magnolia — The Vicinity

Please click on any image for a larger view and the corresponding caption.


“Wait a minute, Mr. Postman…”

The slideshow below illustrates a somewhat humorous occurrence. The goal was to capture the fellow entering my frame of composition, which meant that I would capture him walking on the snowy sidewalk between myself and the facade of the post office. What I had not anticipated was that the fellow actually had the intention to post a letter in the mailbox! Alas, as he approached, he looked slightly embarrassed and apologized to me because he thought he was in my way. “I just need to mail this letter and I’ll get out of your space,” the fellow said, shuffling in such a way that communicated awkwardness. To be perfectly honest, his politeness caught me off guard (isn’t that unfortunate in this day and age?), so there was enough human awkwardness all around. I encouraged him to take his time and not mind my presence. The irony was that, a decade ago, when I was less savvy about my photographic compositions, I probably wouldn’t have wanted him in the image whatsoever.

Nevertheless, as you can see below, his presence makes all the difference in this set of images — especially the second image in which we first made eye-contact via Ananda’s lens. (“Ananda” is the name I’ve given to my Sony dSLR camera. She’s been on a lot of journeys with me). Nothing in this simple interaction was planned or projected. As a result, this was much better than what I had originally preconceived of him just walking through the frame.

  • U.S. Post Office, Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
  • U.S. Post Office, Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
  • U.S. Post Office, Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
The Marvelettes / “Please Mr. Postman” (1965)

Streets of Dreams (and Sledding, Skiing & Snowboarding)

Seattle was built on seven massive hills and numerous smaller ones. Naturally, when Snowmageddon arrived, the city essentially became its own free ski resort, and many children and adults took advantage. In fact, my observations noted many more adults sledding this time around than children. I resolved that this weekend must have been an opportunity for decompression or an emotional release of sorts for many people citywide. After all, we are still in the middle of a pandemic that has riled up the emotions of millions of people after a year.

Please click on any image for a larger view and the corresponding caption.

M People / “Someday” (1992)

“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again…”

This enthusiastic child was off to a good start on his sled! Notice his friends cheering him on from behind. Two seconds later, the enthusiastic child was off the sled and on the ground. This happened so quickly, his friends are still captured cheering for him!

  • 1 of 2 / An enthusiastic child was off to a good start on his sled! / Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
  • 2 of 2 / Two seconds later, the enthusiastic child was off the sled and on the ground. This happened so quickly, his friends are still captured cheering for him! / Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).

Meanwhile, this individual attempted to cycle through the snow. When he stopped in front of me (inadvertently — he was half cycling and half sliding), I asked him how his ride was going thus far. He replied, “It’s definitely different than what I had anticipated.”

  • A cyclist attempts to cycle along snow-covered 28th Avenue in Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
  • A cyclist attempts to cycle along snow-covered 28th Avenue in Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
  • A cyclist attempts to cycle along snow-covered 28th Avenue in Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
  • A cyclist attempts to cycle along snow-covered 28th Avenue in Magnolia, Seattle (February 13, 2021).
Aaliyah / “Try Again” (2000)

There were a few other interesting moments that I captured this weekend, but I may save them for a “Part Two” later this week.

Leaving you with a portrait of the photographer who greeted his inner child, at one point, while exploring his neighborhood during this snowy weekend.


Thanks for reading this article. If you enjoyed the photographs here, please visit my official website @ www.tia-international-photography.com for an indelible, visual experience.

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