Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ice and Snow, Sun and Sky

Sue stands on the banks of the Hudson, now clogged with frazil ice.

I wanted to see my friend Sue today, and she wanted to go see the frazil ice on the Hudson north of Warrensburg. So we went there together. How lucky I am to have such a friend, who loves ice and snow as much as I do. Sure helps us get through the winter in cheerful spirits. We each have friends who cower inside and grumble all winter, complaining about the weather. Well of course! We believe that if they'd only buy longjohns and snowshoes, they'd actually look forward to the snow and ice.

Sue had hoped to see the frazil ice in action, rushing downstream in slushy mounds and piling up to suddenly dam the river. That dramatic kind of action had happened some time ago, so the river was now a solid mass of lumpy ice. I thought those lumps were pretty impressive, though.

After checking on the ice situation just north of Warrensburg, Sue decided to drive further north, hoping to find open water in transition. We made it no farther than Wevertown, though, where this snowy sideroad beckoned to us to stop and explore its charms on foot.

And those charms were many! Especially as the sun moved behind clouds that were spilling snow, creating the most marvelous pearly light. Our road carried us across Mill Creek, past this snow-covered millpond bathed in that magical light.

The mill and the plunging creek stood on the opposite side of the road, where the trees were lit with gold as the clouds parted in front of the lowering sun.

And here came the snow, a light fairy-dusting of sparkling flakes, glittering in that filtered sunlight. Do click on this photo to better see that beautiful snow.

As the snow clouds moved to the north and the sun descended in the sky, the high clouds glowed a radiant pink and gold against a blue, blue sky. It was time to head home. This photo was taken as we sped south on the Northway.

Anxious to get a clear view of that splendid sky, Sue turned off the highway at Glen Lake and made her way to the fen at the end of Ash Road. We stood and watched, clutching our scarves and stamping our feet in the cold as the fire in the clouds turned to embers and then to ash. We both agreed that the sky is never so beautiful any other time of year as in winter.


Ellen Rathbone said...

What a beautiful adventure. I sure do miss my exploring friends. Everyone here is married and thus otherwise occupied. Need to find some available nature nuts.

Anonymous said...

Winter skies are the most vivid in my opinion! Especially a blue sky during frigid weather! Yeah, I'm definitely not a grumbler, I have the long johns and snowshoes, and this year I bought a pair of snowpants to make it even more cozy when I go out! Nice photos! I love how the sun creates the shades of blue and purple on the snow, it is VERY magical!

Jackie C said...

Beautiful! Especially the last photo of the setting sun. The sky was incredibly clear that night, by the way! I was amazed at the stupendous display of stars in the sky!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks, Ellen. And we sure do miss you, too. Maybe you could join an organization similar to the ADK Mountain Club to find fellow nature nuts.

You bet, Rain, snowpants are the answer to staying warm in the snowy cold. Thanks for your kind comment.

Thanks, Jackie. And yes, the stars are never so bright as on a cold clear winter night.