The predicted snow has been falling this cold day in January. Winter weather such as this isn't unexpected around here so we cope. The cities, counties, and state kept the roads passable for the most part and we went about our business this morning –between bouts of snowfall– arriving back home this afternoon. With temperatures barely above 20 degrees (F) I couldn't bear to not go on a solo hike in the snow, camera in hand, to enjoy the beauty of the world nearby and record some to share and remember. It was also an excellent opportunity to try out a beautiful new lens* I've got for my cameras.
In our neighborhood the drives are a mess of the same sort seen on the public streets: slushy, salty, dirty, wet. Snow and ice are accumulating on roofs and eaves troughs threatening to tumble to the ground and flatten or impale any unfortunates found below.
My walk carried me through my neighborhood –some of the most beautifully trees decorated by nature were found here– on to the town square, behind a commercial business and apartment building, and back home. Along the way I enjoyed views, many views, of the flocked trees. Late in the walk came sightings of wildlife: a deer taking shelter in the scrub, and robins picking wild berries.
The trees gained their remarkable beauty through a two-stage process. High humidity and freezing fog rolled through the area Tuesday night; along with cold temperatures thick hoar frost formed on every exposed branch, twig, and weed. The landscape was transformed and was gorgeous both day and night.
Next came snowfall of the light, fluffy variety Thursday and today. The flakes adhered to the flat plates of frost already on the trees, puffing up the white coating by many times over — where we are today.
So the snow is an impediment to modern life and can really make a mess of things. Overall, however, I'd say it's a beautiful mess.
* The Lens: Just received (thanks to She Who Must Be Obeyed) a fantastic new zoom lens for use with my digital SLR cameras. Critically looking at these and other first images made with the lens, I think it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Autofocus was fast but tricked sometimes by the complex nature of… nature, but in-focus areas were very sharp. The lens features full-time manual focus! Chromatic aberration is well-controlled, and the lens has a very practical focal length range making it an excellent choice for general use and in situations (like today) where it would be unwise to remove and replace lenses due to snow or dust. The glass? Canon EF 24-105 mm f/4L IS USM.