Hawks perched above
On high bare winter trees,
Waiting for dinner below.
Winter continues to persist. Birds of prey frequently perch on surrounding trees looking over the snow covered pastures waiting for slight creature movement below. It is a good time for bird watching.
How beautiful the snow is, but it is really cold. Today was -6 degrees when I got up. It is “dry” cold, so not too uncomfortable. Since Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction of an early spring, winter has hit Eastern Washington hard. We have had our first real snow of the year and the temperatures have dropped below zero. We are in for more!
The only good advice I have heard is to not trust the groundhog. Out of Phil’s 103 predictions, he has been right only 39% of the time! I see that he has about the same prediction accuracy as our regular weather forecasters.
It is about time that we had our first real snow of the year. Our luck of having mild winter weather has just run out. Last week I was out golfing. I don’t think I will make it out this week!
This morning was 20 degrees when I went out to photograph. I came in after about an hour walk around the house. After warming up, I decided that I would rather review and work on my images instead of going out and shovel snow. I guess I can’t put it off any longer … it’s time to go out and get to work.
North Absaroka Range from Beartooth Pass Summit
This view of the Absaroka Mountains is looking west from the summit of Beartooth Pass, elevation 10,947 feet. The air is thin. I felt like I was almost on the top of the world. I was definitely light headed.
I am focusing on trying to create various moods with my black and white images. This image of Pilot Peak was shot in midday light. I added contrast along with dodging and burning to get this “late evening” mood.
The image below is processed with a B&W conversion with just a little contrast and brightness adjustment. It captures more of the detail, but lacks feeling (my perspective).
What is your preference?
One of the most beautiful scenic drives that I have been on is the Beartooth Highway from Cook City, Wyoming to Red Lodge, Montana. On the way up to the summit, I saw a small opening through the trees with a beautiful lake peeking between them. I found a turnout and walked a short distance to see this beautiful scene. The lake was smooth as glass, the sky was blue, and the snow beamed out its radiance. Symmetry of the bluff reflecting in the lake was perfect. It was mid-day, so the colors were muted. But is was perfect for black and white.
Someday, I will be back for an early morning or late afternoon shot of the warm sun reflecting off the bluff into the lake.
Mt. Rainier, Washington
It was a clear day. The Mountain was stunning! What more can be said.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 59mm, f/8.0, 1/120 sec, ISO 1600
It is snowing again today and we are getting ready for another 8-10 inches in a couple of days. Officially, Spring will come in less than three weeks. When will it really come????
Even though I am tired of shoveling snow and chipping ice, I still appreciate the beauty of a snow covered landscape. I hope to be able to get out and explore after the next snow fall.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 52mm, f/11, 1/300 sec, ISO 1600
Walking around our back yard, I always look for different perspectives. The weight of the snow on the foreground pine opened up a frame for the background leyland cyprus. We planted these two trees when we first moved into the area to break up the open pasture of our back yard. Fifteen years later they have changed the feeling of our back yard.
Fuji X-T1, XF18-135mm @ 83mm, f/11, 1/170 sec, ISO 1600
The red twig dogwood adds a little color to the cold winter scene in our backyard perennial garden. Of course, when I see red, I shoot. During our walks in our backyard, Karen and I usually stop here and spend a quiet moment or two. The bench is tucked in between shrubs and trees. It is a nice private place in the middle of our wide open area. Each spring I prune the dogwoods down to about 12 inches above the ground. New shoots pop up to create a 5-6 foot bush each year. Along with our winterberries, the dogwood provides a bright red contrast to the winter landscape.