I don’t like cold weather at all. I did when I was younger in grade school and up until about my first year of college. I couldn’t wait for the snow so we could get out our sleds and saucers. I also couldn’t wait for the ponds and lakes to freeze over so we could ice skate. The big treat was to have snow on a frozen lake so we could shovel paths to skate on and create mazes. The deeper the snow the better; kept you from cutting across from one path to another. With a big snow we would use the snow shovel and garden shovels to scoop up all the snow in the yard and make a huge mound that we packed down as we built it. When we thought it was big enough we would tunnel into the side of it with a garden shovel to make an “igloo” by carving out the insides of the mound.
I’m pretty sure my fondness for winter and cold activities ended when I was the guest of the US Army at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Now that I think about it guest is the wrong word. I was actually newly employed by the US Army at the time. I was there from mid-November until then end of January learning how to be all I can be.
The thing about the Army is you stand around waiting a lot and we were outside a lot and it was always cold. Coming back to the barracks was not much help because inside we were required to keep the widows open six inches. Guess who lucked out with a window bunk? As I recall, the purpose was to help keep down the incidence of meningitis. Evidently pneumonia was okay.
The constant prevailing coldness was accentuated with spikes in the cold factor such as laying on the ground at the rifle range and having to take of your gloves to adjust the sights to help zero them in. Then there was the time we did a night march to an activity center where we got to crawl on our bellies through cold, wet sandy mud under strands of barbed wire while tracer bullet zipped over head. Another favorite cold night was the time they drove us (in cattle trucks) to a grove of young trees. We got to spend the night in the cute little pup tents supplied by the Army. It was dark and ,as always, it was cold. We weren’t allowed to use our flashlights as we were trying to put up our two man tents and getting out our gear to display for inspection. Most of this couldn’t be done fast enough while wearing the heavy gloves we had so they were off. When it rains it pours, or as in this case, it snows. Things just got worse from there.
I’ve left out a lot of the details of my miserable winter at Fort Leonard Wood. I don’t know of anyone in my group that the cold didn’t bother in a big way. At night as we prepared things in the barracks for the next day we used to talk about the cold. To a man we all agreed that once we got out of the Army we would never again allow ourselves to be in a cold situation.
So there you have it, reason why I don’t like the cold and never take pictures when it is 32 degrees F or colder. So what follows in this post are cold, outdoor subject photos (i.e. ice) but taken in less than freezing weather.
In mid-January we had two days of off and on freezing rain. It had been weeks since I had taken any pictures, other than those of family and friends over the holidays. I was getting the photographic equivalent of cabin fever. The day after the freezing rain it started to warm up to the upper 30s and lower 40s so I decided I’d try to take some pictures of the ice before it all melted. Obviously I wasn’t going to be getting down on the ground for close ups so I took my 400mm lens and headed to one of my go to spots; Blackburn Park. I knew what Blackburn had to offer in the summer (lots of flowers, skippers, and a good population of monarchs), but I wasn’t sure what I’d find on this trip. One of the spots I did want to go to in the park was the wooded area on the east side. It has a couple of nice trails and a large variety of trees in terms of age and size. With all the bare branches and twigs I thought there might be some good opportunities there. On the side of a hill in the wooded area there is a monolithic dead tree trunk that one year had some baby owls. I was hoping it would be covered in ice and make a good subject if the light was right.
Lately I’ve been getting mighty wordy with the lead ins for my posts so I’ll stop here and bring on the ice photos.
I mentioned at the beginning that one of the things I wanted to do at Blackburn Park was take some photos in the woods. As I was walking toward the woods I heard a familiar noise I couldn’t quite place. The noise became louder the closer I got and I soon recognized it as rain. The melt was full on and all the water falling from the branches was so much it was as if it were raining and not just sprinkling but a steady rain, but just in the woods. I thought better than to take my camera and lens into that.
Thank you for stopping by.