Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘icicles

A farewell to icicles

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Over the past month you’ve seen plenty of pictures here showing snow, ice, and especially icicles, courtesy of the frigid weather that descended on Austin and stayed with us for a week in mid-February. But now it’s fully spring, so a farewell to winter is in order. Here are two last pictures from the part of Great Hills Park known as Potter’s Place, which I visited on February 16th. Above, you see how numerous the icicles in that little cove along the main creek were, and the flash I used allowed the clarity of the water to come through. The picture below, taken by natural light, emphasizes the icicles’ reflections in water that now seems dark.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 19, 2021 at 4:38 AM

Nice ice thrice

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I took the first two pictures in our yard on February 19th. The icicles in the
second one picked up a lot more of the sky’s blue than those in the first.

And from Great Hills Park on February 12th, the first day I went out
after the initial ice storm, here’s an oak gall with a small icicle on it:

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 16, 2021 at 4:42 AM

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Dripping icicles

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On February 19th, for the first time ever, many icicles
hung from our rain gutters; some were dripping water.

And here’s a thought for today that reveals a cold, hard truth: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events. Otherwise, when some particularly absurd belief is exploded by events, one may simply forget that one ever held it.” — George Orwell, 1946, In Front of Your Nose.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 11, 2021 at 4:40 AM

Maidenhair ferns withstanding ice

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Maidenhair ferns (Adiantum capillus-veneris), which thrive in places where the banks of Great Hills Park’s main creek form cliffs, go dormant in droughts but seem to have held up pretty well to the rare ice and snow that descended on us in mid-February. You’ll see some of those ferns protruding from the ice in each of the first picture’s three tiers, and you get a better look in the close-up below, both taken on February 20th.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 7, 2021 at 4:40 AM

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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

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

Icicles and tangled branches

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On February 16th I went into Great Hills Park from the Floral Park Dr. entrance and cut over to the main creek as soon as possible. At a rock overhang on the creek’s west bank I found that many icicles had formed amid a tangle of dead branches. Let’s hear it for complexity.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 23, 2021 at 4:38 AM

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