Sunday, December 08, 2013

Ramparts of Ice

 It's been really cold in Eugene.

I walked into work, which was fun.  The university closed a little early Friday, and the streets have been very slippery. The ride on the bus home was interesting (and much longer than usual).
 I've had my obligatory sledding accident.  We nosed into a sidewalk curb instead of swooshing over it.   Luckily I haven't cracked my spine, so I have use of both legs -- although sitting is uncomfortable.
 Saturday was cold, dry and clear, and I went out with Mark's camera to take some pictures in "magic light."  Since we're about two weeks away from the Winter Solstice, from dawn to 9:30 AM and then from 3:30 PM to dusk we get lots of slanting, ruddy sunlight (at least when it's not cloudy).
 Obligatory water tower photograph.
 Sunset through the trees.
 We live within walking distance of the city reservoir up the hill, and I discovered that it's a giant, two-block large icicle machine.  Alas, I made this discovery at dusk.
 This frozen door reminded me of the door in C.S. Lewis's "The Last Battle."  I was getting cold (I had to take my gloves off to work the camera buttons, which were cold), and it was getting dark.  The moon was nice, but Mark's camera doesn't have a zoom lens.
 So... I forced myself to be up before dawn the next day.  I girded myself with extra layers--including fingerless gloves under thick ski gloves--topping it all off with the grey-green wool cloak.  The cloak came in handle for covering my less-gloved hand and the camera, and prevented frostbit fingers.
 At first, I thought the trees would block the sunlight going through the icicles.

 The moss was still green, and made a contrasting background for frosted spiderwebs.
 I think this is my favorite shot of the day.
 Mark's camera is thinner than mine, and I was able to get it behind the curtain of ice.

 After about fifty photos, I realized that I was taking the same picture over and over ... and... it's frozen water.  Also, the sun was getting higher and the light was loosing it's "magic" quality.  And my toes were freezing.
 I was trying to keep my hands from freezing, so I tried to refrain from taking more photos.  Yeah; right.  I thought a drain cover surrounded by snow was funny.
 I dusted the snow--it's dry and perfect for skiing--over the cover to bring out the salmon.
 Mark told me about a near-by holly tree.

 In other weather related news, Mark froze soap bubbles and took some photographs.  These are all his.
 Today's sun has been slowly melting the bubble from the bottom up.
 These are from about 10 AM.

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