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Category Archives: winter

Temperatures have been cold for the last week or so with lows in the single digits. Brrr. Ice is forming on the lakes and ponds but most of it is too thin for walking. We did find a shallow area of a pond that seemed safe. The bubbles in the ice were fascinating. I wonder if they are from the decomposing wood in the water below? We could see them in the middle of the ice and also where it looked like they were at the bottom surface of the ice. We guessed that it was about three inches thick. Farther out in the deeper area, it looked cracked and we avoided it. Some folks have said they could see fish and turtles under the ice but we had no such luck.

These images are from last Thursday, the same day I photographed the bees. It was a very warm February day with the temperature approaching fifty degrees. Today it is near freezing and snow has been falling for hours. In the last week or so we’ve had nearly two feet of new snow but combined with warm afternoons, it is compressed and heavy with ice in the places exposed by the snow plow and shovels and in the trails that are heavily trod upon.

Another fun day outside! Eight of us – four dogs and four women – travelled with classic skis and waxed paws to look at the frozen Falls Creek Falls. Yes, that’s its name.

Falls Creek Falls. It’s a place that we frequently take out of town guests, even the elderly that can’t get around to well, to see in the warmer months. It’s a reasonably short drive from town and the short trail is paved for wheelchairs and the falls are really a sight to see. In the spring and early summer, the water is high and spray cools the air and keeps the surfaces wet and slippery. Later in the summer, it’s a refreshingly cool spot. And fall is lovely with colorful foliage.

I’ve always wanted to see it in the winter but you can’t drive there. The road is closed and maintained for snow machines but that doesn’t mean you can’t ski to it. So when Jennifer said she wanted to go, I was ready. We thought about taking fat bikes but someone said they are not allowed. That left us with classic cross-country skis. I must say, I have not used my classic skis in at least a couple of years having become a devoted skate skier. This year, with little snow in the Cascades I have not done much of any skiing so I figured I may as well dust off the classics and give it a go. Jennifer’s skis are so old (how old are they?) that they have 3 pin bindings! She bought them used more years ago then she cares to say. We recruited MA to join us and she got Christiana to go too (and drive) and we were set. A sno-park pass is required so we needed to cram all of us into one vehicle to make it not too costly. Four women, four dogs and all the ski stuff and other gear – well it takes up some space. And to top it off, the roads were not in good shape – new snow was covering the old ice.

Not only did we have the fun of skiing with our dogs on a day that went from nearly sunny to snowing hard, we also enjoyed the trail to the falls and its icy beauty and on the way back, we stopped to observe some ancient pictographs. It was another fun day in the Methow.

We have had quite a few days of ice fog. That combined with no new snow can make a pretty bleak picture. The little snow we have has been softened and frozen into an uneven frozen track that often makes walking difficult. I put ‘yak traks’ on my shoes just about every time I go out for a walk. One day last week there was a hint that the sun might be shining just a little higher up and the dogs and I had a few minutes before meeting our friends for agility practice. So we went up to frozen Pearrygin Lake to see if we could find the sun and to stretch our legs. There were glimpses of sunshine, sucker holes, but by the time we left, it was just gray again.

My friend said she was having trouble with her little point and shoot camera and since she is getting ready for a big trip in the spring she is concerned that maybe it’s failing and she wondered if she ought to try to replace it. I said I would give it a try for a couple of days and took it with me on a couple of walks and used it in the house with and without the flash and of course, it behaved just fine for me. It seems like I haven’t been doing too much ‘fun’ photography lately so it was a good exercise for me. The camera is a low end Nikon Coolpix, and not very new. I found it to be serviceable although I did miss having raw files. The color balance was a little skewed, especially in the snow but not terribly so. I was mostly able to adjust for it in Lightroom. Its exposure compensation allowed me to photograph my black dog in the snow and its close-up scene setting worked well for close-ups.





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