An after market telephoto lens with really terrible optics can still create intriguing images with its distortion. In these images, rain falling through 29-degree air is coating branches and pine needles with ice.
Branches with icicle stubs. Having fun with terrible aftermarket lens. Jan. 11, 2015.

Winter vs. Spring: Round 2 continued

Winter has its moments of beauty.

Winter landscape.
STORYBOOK ENDING — Winter has its beauty. When the sun finally broke through, it lit a scene that looked like a storybook illustration.
Snow covered road.
UP THE ROAD — Ice, sleet, snow make for a beautiful view but a treacherous drive up 30- and 40 degree curving mountain roads.
individual flakes on an iron railing.
SNOWFLAKES — individual flakes on an iron railing.

Winter vs. Spring: Round 2

After a few springlike days, winter came roaring back, taking Round 2. The system dropped freezing rain, several inches of sleet and topped it all off with snow. Schools were shut down for days and traffic stopped on I-40 and I-55 in northeastern Arkansas.

The heavy winter layer took all the joy out of the daffodils in back of the office.  So sad.

LOST HIS CROWN — Daffodil loses its rill in the sleet, rain and snow.
Frozen daffodils.
DOWN — A storm system that brought freezing rain, a few inches of sleet and snow stomped these daffodils.

On ice

Winter is a slow time here on the mountain. Not much is moving and wildlife is elusive. However, Nature does provide a little interest in the variety of strokes in which she uses her frosty paintbrush. There are leaves carefully rimmed with ice crystals. On the cliff sides,  bladelike crystals  arise from the earth, separating roots from soil and rocks from their beds. And  there are those those tiny, rimming crystals — flakes that stand on end in seeming defiance of gravity.

Frost-rimmed oak leaf amid frosted chickweed and dormant Bermuda grass blades.
Frost-rimmed oak leaf amid frosted chickweed and dormant Bermuda grass blades.
Ice blades
Tiny blades of ice, about one-eighth of an inch wide, span an inch-and-a-half gap in the cliffside.
Ice crystal flakes.
Ice flakes like raised hackles on the edge of this leaf.

Great balls of … water?

(Apologies to Jerry Lee Lewis, of course.) Winter likes to make water do interesting things: create stalactites, delicate snowflakes and spheres of ice. Here, a couple of samples of what water can do.

(Catching that little drop of water falling from an icicle took many, many frames.)

sleet balls
CRYSTAL BALLS — Tiny spheres of sleet that accompanied a winter storm.
Sphere of water falls from a bank of icicles.
THE BIG DRIP — Sphere of water falls from a bank of icicles.

Posts from winters past:


Weekly photo challenge: Lost in the details

One of the nice things about the weekly photo challenge is that the prompt gets you to see the world in another way; or see an object in a new light; or at the very least from a new angle. Our take on the details is below.

Weekly photo challenge: Changing seasons

Fall and winter are trying to gain a foothold here in Arkansas. These shots came from one of the few frostly mornings we’ve had here in Central Arkansas  — cold snaps sandwiched between days with highs in the 70s, a few thunderstorms and the occasional tornado watch.

More changing seasons:

And the home for the weekly challenge:

Gilding the lily …

… or “icing the daffodil,” which is not nearly as poetic a phrase. Still, the flower doth speak for itself.

WHEN WINTER MEETS SPRING -- Although the wished-for snow day did not materialize, there was a short window between the first snowflakes and the obliterating rain where the sky's frozen lace clasped the petals of this daffodil. The flower was part of a cluster growing in a green space between the office and Coleman Creek.


Temps as low as the lower teens turned the pond to ice and the roadway into truck luge course.


Frozen lake
A week of sub-freezing temperatures covered the pond with ice.
Snow on rustic lantern
Morning sunshine highlights the stones of the rustic Japanese garden lantern/cairn made from native Stanley shale.