Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Some January Ice and Snow


January 23, 2022

You know what they say about the best camera being the one you have with you. The one I had with me January 11 was my cell phone (an iPhone SE). If I’d had my Nikon and time, I would have hung around this ditch a lot longer than I did. The ice was glorious, doing all kinds of things I’d never seen ice do before. I never did get back to that spot with the big camera. The neighborhood woke up to five or so inches of snow January 17, and that morning I did spend a little time with the Nikon. I have realized why I have so few photographs of snow in my vast collection. It’s not that it snows so little in northern Ohio, although in some winters we receive almost none. Rather it’s that when there is beautiful snow to be had, it’s also cold and often windy. I thought I’d be braver this past week following my brief stint the seventeenth, but I wasn’t. Maybe this coming week. Maybe. As I write this post, snow is falling profusely.

1 Solid ice puddles atop clear ice is something I’d never seen before. I asked my neighbor, a retired physics professor, if he knew what caused them. His reply: “The white opaque ice islands are thick enough that the moisture that made them probably came from the water in the ditch rather than from the air above.  Opaque white ice is usually that color when it contains dense microscopic air bubbles.  But I don’t know how this came to be.”

2 I can’t blow this up enough to be able to tell if all the tiny white dots are bubbles. I think they are.

3 My friend’s explanation may be illustrated in this photograph, which seems to show some bubbles frozen beneath the surface of the ice along with some small ice islands on top.

4 I have a guess about the origin of all the bubbles.

5 I think it may be gases released by decaying matter in the ditch.

6 No mystery here. Poking up from the snow, these are cast-off twigs from a nearby river birch outside my front door.

7 Our ring road was plowed soon after the snow arrived. Another neighbor, a retired professor of French, wrote upon seeing this photograph:

Structural! Up (the stalks), level (the snow), and down (the roadway);
past (the stalks), present (the snowy ground), and future (the bare roadway)
the promise of spring (new growth of the stalks) rounds off the cycle.
tempus fugit, natura crescit!.*
x
* Google translates the Latin as “time flies, nature grows.”

8 Surrounding dried vegetation stood out in contrast to snow-covered Rock Pond.

9 This snow-laden pine is what induced me to grab my camera last week.

31 responses

  1. Very beautiful photos – as always…..

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 10:09 AM

  2. First, how lucky you are to have a retired physics professor next door. I would probably make a nuisance of myself with questions.

    Second – really wonderful explorations of those ponds. I love the compositions of bubbles and leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 10:15 AM

    • Thanks, Mark. I think I’ll be paying a lot of attention to these ditches, now that they have given me such treasures. And yes, I am lucky to have a physics professor as a friend, and I think I sometimes do make a nuisance of myself with my questions. But he’s very kind and patient.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 25, 2022 at 11:22 AM

      • Those ditches can be real treasure chests in my opinion!

        Liked by 1 person

        January 25, 2022 at 11:39 AM

  3. Sue

    Wonderful ice images!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 10:15 AM

    • Thank you, Sue. I never knew ice could have so many different appearances.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 25, 2022 at 11:22 AM

      • Sue

        Always good to see interesting new things that we are not familiar with

        Liked by 1 person

        January 26, 2022 at 4:00 AM

  4. This is a beautiful time of year to shoot outside for those lucky enough to have snow. With this group of photos, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite but the simplicity of #7 is outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 11:57 AM

    • Thank you, Ken. We are lucky to have such lovely snow this year, especially if we don’t have to battle it on the roads. Webster isn’t getting this snow?

      Like

      January 25, 2022 at 11:22 AM

      • We’re knee-deep in snow. I’m on my way out now to shovel the walk again.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 25, 2022 at 2:36 PM

  5. I’m becoming more and more familiar and appreciative of the ice that forms in the local rivers and streams, not so much for what forms in the driveway.
    A lovely collection here and especially the minimalism of the cast-off twigs

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 1:15 PM

    • Thanks, Joe. I’m glad those cast-off twigs are good for something. I dislike tripping on them as I cut across the lawn. Like you, I’m fascinated by how a pristine backdrop of snow can enhance the dignity of dried weeds.

      Like

      January 25, 2022 at 11:23 AM

  6. Sandy Siebenschuh

    Lovely. These almost make it worth having snow and ice.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 2:28 PM

    • Thanks, Sandy. I think I see mostly the upside to snow and ice—unless I have to be somewhere on time.

      Like

      January 25, 2022 at 11:23 AM

  7. These are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 23, 2022 at 7:29 PM

    • Thank you, Jackson. I see that you and your camera are also drawn to snow.

      Like

      January 25, 2022 at 11:24 AM

  8. Your top picture’s an enticing opener. I hope you decided to go for the new snow, which gives you photographic opportunities we rarely get 800 miles further south. Google’s translation of the Latin saying “Tempus fugit, natura crescit” is correct. It seems that retired professors in your town may be more common than snow has become there in recent years.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2022 at 6:24 AM

    • Thanks, Steve. I have indeed been out in the new snow this week. Yes, we do have our share of retired professors, to be expected, I guess, in a college town—though I know three who escaped to California in recent years.

      Like

      January 25, 2022 at 11:24 AM

  9. I see why you were excited about the ice in that ditch. The first image is especially stunning. I really like the browns and grays and the soft directional sunlight. Phones always surprise me; they often deliver very nice images and always much better than the camera we don’t have with us. This is a really nice winter collection, Linda.

    I had a couple of instances of the opaque white ice on our pond that, rather than being raised pads, were closer to the surface of the surrounding gray ice but in the shape of underlying leaves. I should have explored it more closely but it was really cold…

    Liked by 1 person

    January 24, 2022 at 6:30 AM

  10. Anonymous

    Thanks for finding beauty in the here and now and sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 26, 2022 at 2:48 PM

    • Thanks, Anonymous. Photography offers wonderful opportunities to live in the here and now. That’s one reason I love to do it. The sharing part is fun, too.

      Like

      January 26, 2022 at 9:09 PM

  11. After the week-plus we had of snow and below-freezing temps at the end of last year, I know exactly what you mean about the frustration of seeing photographic opportunities and being too cold to work with them. But the phone did very well! #1 is interesting for the oddity and even more interesting simply as a beautiful image.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 28, 2022 at 12:16 PM

    • Yes, I am very pleased with what the iPhone could do. Still, I braved the cold with the Nikon three times this week. I just had to get more snow photos. You’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2022 at 7:54 PM

      • Oh, good to hear, Linda. I’m looking forward to it! (And I’m glad I don’t live in NY right now).

        Liked by 1 person

        January 28, 2022 at 9:40 PM

  12. Oops…#3 might be my favorite in that series, for the way it shows leaves outside the ice, barely under it, and almost invisibly deep under it. Beautiful light there, too. But I love #4 & 5 too, they’re poetic. Maybe they strike me more that way because of the long rectangular frame, I don’t know. They flow. How wonderful that your neighbor was inspired to write his thoughts about #7 down. #8 is my favorite of the snow series. Leaving the narrow band of vegetation at the top was brilliant! Here’s to more snow and warm fingers!!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 28, 2022 at 12:22 PM

  13. I loved seeing the leaves poke out of the ice. This neighbor often sends poetic responses to my photographs. I’ll include more in the future. I took #8 as a horizontal. I love having so many pixels to work with that I can reconsider after download and crop to vertical dimensions without losing resolution. Thank you, Lynn!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 28, 2022 at 8:01 PM

    • That was a smart crop (of course!). I guess we tend to take those pixels for granted.
      Have a good weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 28, 2022 at 9:43 PM

      • I’m still not taking them for granted because my previous camera was not so pixel-happy. And when I go back and look at really old (say, pre-2011) images, I really appreciate what I have now. You have a good weekend, too, Lynn.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 28, 2022 at 9:47 PM

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