Sunday, February 3, 2013

Rusty Camera Skills and The Beauty of Ice

I've spent a lot of time panicking over frigid temperatures and huge sheets of ice that cover... well... pretty much everything.

I'm sure it's getting a bit old.

Well, I'm still obsessed with the ice around here, because it's so new to me, being from the desert, but today I won't complain.  Not at all.  Today we'll focus on the awesomeness of that ice.

Why, you ask?

Because I finally got a new camera!!!

I mean, how can I be upset at a time like this?  No more washed out colors.  No more inability to take photos in low light due to the lack of a flash.

No more photos whose quality resembles those taken in a bathroom and posted on Facebook!!!

Well... unless I do take a photo in my bathroom... then post it on Facebook.  It could happen.  The point is, the photo quality on this blog will improve, and that makes me bounce around in joy, which also causes me to resemble a chicken trying to peck at a weed growing within a wall while balancing on the aforementioned huge sheet of ice.

stick figure with a chicken beak struggling for balance on a sheet of ice as it attempts to peck a weed from a wall.

But that's a good thing!  No, really... it is!

The camera isn't perfect... not even by a long shot.  I got it on clearance, and it's a basic model, but the photo quality is much better than that of my camera phone, which causes me to be the happiest person on earth.

So what do I have for you today?

Ice photos!  I tell you, I really am fascinated.  The ice I'm seeing in this region would never occur in the desert southwest.  It's like a whole new world of beauty that I've been given the chance to observe with the same wonder as a young child.

It's not often that you can experience something very basic with the same level of excitement as a preschooler.  It's a rare opportunity.  Life truly doesn't get better than this.

First, I went back to the "safe" area of the trail up to the fenced in area of the backyard.

The most crisp image of the frozen trail that has been taken since my old camera died.

I had spent some time pecking at the ice (with a rock.  Not my mouth.  I promise.) to try to roughen it up, but it was still gorgeous - as dangerous things normally are!

Happy that the colors were no longer washed out, I ran to the sidewalk, which had been frozen solid.  I brushed some snow away to reveal fallen leaves that were trapped within the transparent slab.

leaves entirely covered by nearly clear ice

The sun glistened upon the ice, revealing these fallen treasures.

I still wasn't done, though.

I couldn't get enough of this newfound ability to take photos that actually produce true color!  Sure, my skills are rusty.  I've been without the proper tools for some time, after all.  There was still more exploration to be done, however, and such a small setback couldn't get in the way.

I looked off to the side.

Sunshining onto a sheet of ice that was frozen as the wind blew.  Tiny ripples were frozen in place.

During the freezing process, the wind blew.  This produced a ripple effect that I was able to view a full day later.

I was in my own personal winter wonderland.  

Sure, I couldn't be out for long, since the windchill was far below zero, but the time spent outside had a dream quality to it.

On the way back, I saw a walnut half encased in the ice.  A squirrel had found it prior to the freezing, and it was broken open to reveal the nut inside, which, coincidentally, had been removed and eaten.

Black walnut shell frozen halfway into a sheet of ice, revealing a heart shaped center filled with snow.

But the image laid out before me reflected my mood - The perfectly shaped heart at the center of the shell revealed the joy, beauty, and love of nature that can only be truly realized when we get up close and personal with it... really see it.

There's beauty all around us - even when the weather isn't particularly welcoming.

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