Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘ice

Backlit icicles

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February 20th marked the fourth and last of my recent forays into Great Hills Park for ice and snow pictures. For the first time in my life (if memory serves) I photographed backlit icicles. In the opening view I used flash so I could stop down to f/18. That way everything was in focus, from the nearest rocks in the lower right to the ruins of the fallen Ashe juniper tree, Juniperus ashei, in the upper left, where the backlighting is also the most evident in the top picture. Contrast that with the second image, where I got closer and avoided flash so that backlighting would be the main source of illumination.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 5, 2021 at 4:36 AM

Ice formations on a cliff in Great Hills Park

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February 18th saw my third foray into Great Hills Park in quest of ice, and second in search of snow. I pushed further into the park than two days earlier and eventually got to a place where I saw icicles and ice flows up on a cliff. Before I’d left home I knew I’d have to walk a treacherous half mile each way just getting to and from the park, plus more inside the park, so I’d left my heavy camera bag behind and brought only my camera with a 24–105mm lens (and flash) attached. Without a telephoto there was no way I was going to take decent pictures of the icicles high on the cliff unless I climbed at least part-way up the steep slope to get closer. Using two trekking poles for balance and stability, I slowly worked my way higher than I’d ever previously done there even without snow and ice. Intrepid or foolish: take your pick. The longest icicles were in a place that ultimately proved too difficult to get close to, so I got as near as I dared and took a few pictures, aware that I’d have to crop in a lot when I processed them. Fortunately my camera gives 50-megapixel images to work with; what you see in the top photograph represents about one-third of a full frame.

I did manage to get over onto a ledge that put me near several other
ice formations, two of which are shown above and below.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 3, 2021 at 4:33 AM

Nicicles

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Here are three abstract views of nicicles (nice icicles) from February 17th in our yard.

You may be aware that the Icelandic word for ‘glacier’ is jökull. That’s the cognate [i.e. linguistic relative] of the -icle part of icicle. The original word that -icle was a diminutive of meant ‘ice,’ so icicle says the same thing twice. If we had the word wetwater it would be the same sort of redundancy. On another score, the only words in English that rhyme with icicle appear to be bicycle and tricycle; leave those vehicles out in a winter storm and you could end up with many a bicycle icicle or tricycle icicle.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 2, 2021 at 4:39 AM

Ice and snow on cedar elms and an Ashe juniper

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From February 18th in Great Hills Park, look how ice had encased the bare branches of cedar elm trees (Ulmus crassifolia). The Ashe juniper tree (Juniperus ashei) further back was conspicuous in the way its branches of evergreen leaves trapped snow, of which 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) had come down. In the closer February 12th pre-snow view below of little icicles on a cedar elm, the pale green came from lichens; it’s a visually energetic way to fill a frame, don’t you think?

And here’s a thought for today from physicist Richard Feynman in 1974:
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 1, 2021 at 4:41 AM

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Ice spits

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A spit is normally ‘a narrow point of land extending into a body of water.’ On February 16th in Great Hills Park ice played the traditional role of land in that definition. Below is a closeup showing how the nearer of the two ice spits faded away into the creek.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 28, 2021 at 4:43 AM

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Snow and ice on trees

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On February 18th I headed back to Great Hills Park for another couple of hours documenting snow and ice. Here are two views of a snow-covered tree that may have been brought down a few days earlier by a heavy accumulation of ice. Notice once again the thick mustang grape vines, Vitis mustangensis.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 27, 2021 at 4:16 AM

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Little icicles and more than a little green

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From February 12th in Great Hills Park, here are some little icicles on green things. The one above hung from the lichen-covered twig of an oak (Quercus sp.), while those below encased an Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei).

UPDATE: In the previous post I’ve added a closer view of the frosted strands I take to be spiderwebs.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2021 at 4:28 AM

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Icicles and frosted spiderwebs

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On my February 16th walk in Great Hills Park I spent a lot of time photographing large icicles, several of which you’ve seen in recent posts. Alongside some of those icicles I noticed what I took to be frosted spiderwebs, as shown here. Have any of you ever seen that?

UPDATE: Here’s a closer view of the frosted strands from another picture:

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 25, 2021 at 4:40 AM

Two mounds of snow in Great Hills Park on February 16th

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The top mound was surrounded partly, and the bottom one fully,
by ice that had formed when water in the park’s main creek froze.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2021 at 4:41 AM

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Icicle delights

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One highlight of my foray into Great Hills Park on February 16th was icicles, which our normally mild winters seldom produce. The ones shown here formed on a bank of the park’s main creek in an area called Potter’s Place, which is named after geologist Eric Potter, who carried out many projects in the park. It’s hard to believe how different this stretch of the creek looks in a rainy spring.

In some of my pictures I played up the icicles’ reflections in the water.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 21, 2021 at 4:30 AM

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