Cold Strikes Again

northern exposures

frosted trees-0316

The ghostly shimmer is a phenomena that I photograph every chance I get. I know it looks like some digital effect, but it’s the real stuff. You see it on sunny days, when the sunlight backlights tiny spicules of ice in the air. Really, they are everywhere but you can only see them when the angle between the sun, the crystals and you are just right.

Temperatures dropped into the mid 40’s (below) the past two days. Everybody here agrees that is cold. So I celebrated by getting my neighbor’s truck stuck in the snow. Officer Mike came to the rescue, but on the final wench that set me free, he backed into deep snow on the other side of the road and couldn’t get out. I guess you could say we had a “get stuck” party.


12 thoughts on “Cold Strikes Again

    1. They float like dust particles in the air. You know how ice and snow can pass directly to the vaporous state without first transforming to water (sublimation)? I think this may be a reverse process that causes the vaporous state to transform directly to the solid state without passing through the intermediate liquid step. In a photograph, some of the crystals appear quite large, but that is an optical effect related to depth of field. All the spicules are extremely small, which explains why they can remain suspended in air for so long.

        1. Wow, thanks for the link! I’ll look at it carefully. I have seen so many atmospheric phenomena up here and have wanted a good resource for reading up about them.

          1. I have noticed so many phenomena in recent years, thanks to that website – it’s amazing! Sun dogs and sun pillars, a fogbow, sun and moon haloes, and a ‘glory’ seen from a plane. I am sure you get to see some wonderful natural sights where you are!

          2. Yes, but some you mentioned are unfamiliar to me, like the “glory.” The pillars are one of the first things I saw, and they can be huge. I think I’ve posted about them a few times. Photographs just don’t bring the reality of them quite home, I think. They look so unnatural I’m afraid readers will think I faked them. Back in Texas, we had haloes around the moon, but that was about it. There is so much to see. I wouldn’t trade our time here for anything.

          3. Your air must be so dry and crystal clear. Not like Britain’s cloud-ridden skies! And I’m sure you get marvellous views of the northern lights, which I’ve glimpsed once. What a contrast with Texas – quite a temperature drop, I would think! 🙂

          4. Oh, yes! But I prefer our climate here. I was not born for the heat. Fog off the river is quite common, and we have many overcast days. But we have our share of clear skies and the blue is a marvelous site to me, like my remembrances of Texas skies from my childhood many decades ago. And yes, the aurora is magnificent, but by the time I finish my homework, I’m too tired to go out to see them very often.

          5. I was just admiring your photos in your New Year’s Eve post – so beautiful! I dislike the heat too, but summer in Scotland is usually so mild and so brief that it becomes a distant memory all too soon! Lovely ‘talking’ to you and I look forward to reading more of your posts. Have a good night!

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