At just the right temperature and humidity levels, frost will form in hexagonal towers. Here’s a more descriptive photo of what this looks like (click on the photo for a larger version). These towers were about 1cm tall.
Hoar frost is a beautiful phenomenon that can cause problems if you’re in the mountains in winter. The hoar frost forms on the snow, and when fresh snow falls on top of it, it forms a weak layer in the snowpack. This can make avalanches a lot more likely.
Taken in Yosemite National Park.
A burnt log in a mountain forest. Taken in Banff National Park.
100mm, f5.6, 1/1600 of a second
On my latest trip to the Rockies, Eric and I found some pretty great ice. This is where we found it — under snow.
Ice may not have the same movement as water, but it still causes the light to dance.
I just got some excellent snowshoes to make my winter excursions a little easier than in past years (I’m used to slogging it with just my winter boots). And hopefully I can get out to a bunch of new places. I tested them out in Elk Island National Park today and had a lot of fun. I came across this herd of bison hanging out with some unusual friends. Click on the image to make it larger to make it easier to spot them.
300mm, f5.6, 1/200 of a second
Sometimes the light hits an un-extraordinary subject in just the right way and creates an extraordinary scene. My favorite part of this photo, though, is going to depend on your monitor being a reasonable brightness. In a print this is something you can easily control but online it gets harder — I love the dark fall tones and subtle evening light in the background.
Taken in Elk Island National Park, 150mm, f2.8, 1/800 of a second.
Metaphor for life? I have no idea.
Kind of cool picture? I think so.
Taken on Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park.
I went for a hike on Astotin Lake yesterday. I’ve been to the shore often enough looking out at all those islands, but I’ve never been on the lake. I decided, before it all melts, to walk out and see some islands up close.
I headed out, wondering how far I’d get. The crust on the snow wasn’t thick enough to support me and made it even harder to walk through the thigh-deep snow. I found a few old snowshoe tracks which usually held me up, and got out onto the lake. It turns out that further out onto the lake, it is easy walking. Once away from the shore I was only sinking down a few inches. This was a pleasant treat, and I got to three islands before heading back.
Here are some cattails (Typha latifolia) from the shore of an island in Astotin Lake.
I love the way frost grows at the edges of open water.
The wind picks up soil from the windward side of this hill, and deposits it here, on the leeward side. It also creates these fantastic swirls on the snow here at the edge of the ice. Taken beside Abraham Lake.