Serving as a water highway for native Americans in years gone by, it’s frozen waters continue to provide passage way for a variety of animals as evidenced by a single track on foot prints just off the left bank.
If the sky is clear just after sunset or just before sunrise, look at the horizon opposite the sun. You may well see the Belt of Venus.
The lowlands of the Mead Wildlife Refuge are often shrouded in an early morning ground fog such as in today’s image. The fog was not thick enough to obscure close at hand landscape features but was just enough to scatter the early morning light into a beautiful reddish glow. I could include the rising sun in the image as it’s intensity was reduced by both the fog and distant tree branches. The conditions allowing this image do not often happen and do not last but a few moments.
Ever notice how a cold morning in the fall seems so much colder than the same temperature during the spring? Part of the reason is that there is much more moisture in the air during early fall. If you are lucky enough to be outside during the beginning of a new fall day when the temperature has dropped below freezing for the first time during the season, you will notice frost covering the landscape. The first breaths of the morning seems to coat everything in front of you.
The above image shows a good example of crepuscular rays. The name comes from their typical appearance during crepuscular hours (those around dawn and dusk), when the contrasts between light and dark are the most obvious. Crepuscular comes from the Latin word “crepuscular” meaning twilight.
Early in the winter after ice has formed but before snow accumulates is the time to capture a reflection of the early morning sun on our frozen lakes and streams. “Fire and Ice” was captured on the Wisconsin River just downwind of a paper mill emitting water vapor. When the air is still and there is a bit of temperature inversion, the water vapor clings close to the ground providing water droplets that can refract the early morning light into an amazing and changing array of colors.
As a photographer, be on the lookout for locations that consistently produce water vapor, mist, steam or ground fog. These become your “money locations” as they are likely to produce wonderful morning color with the rising sun. Wisconsin River Hoar Frost is another image captured in this general location showing beautiful early morning color.
Steam from a nearby paper mill in Whiting, Wisconsin coated the surrounding trees with delicate hoar frost while filling the atmosphere with ice crystal that transformed the early morning light into a wonderful array of colors.
First snows of winter are often wet clinging to the countryside at least for a short time. Smaller shrubs, with a heavy burden of fallen snow, bow down under the weight of the winter season now upon them. Trees show evidence of the previous storm’s direction. While moss may grow heaviest on the North side of trees, snow cakes the West side of these trees. Trees of by gone days lay in the creek, reminiscent of river log runs that were the back bone of Wisconsin’s economy so many years back.
This female cardinal and her partner are year round habitants of our neighborhood and a frequent visitor to our bird feeders. One snowy day, she sat in a pine tree just outside my window. I quickly set up my camera with a telephoto lens. Positioning the camera to suggest a shaft of light was spotlighting her, she stayed just long enough for me to capture this image. Her male partner is featured in an earlier post.
This male cardinal is a year round habitant of our neighborhood and a frequent visitor to our bird feeders. On one snowy day, he sat in a pine tree just outside my window. I quickly set up my camera with a telephoto lens. The window had a fine layer of hoar frost, my fist was just the perfect size to melt a small window through the frost. The telephoto lens allowed the background to be blurred and the hoar frost caste a softness to rest of the image.
This image has become a popular note card especially around the Christmas season.