Out in the Cold

The sun flitted in and out of the clouds yesterday (mostly in), and though it was the coldest day of the season, I listened to my cabin-fever addled brain (it doesn’t take much folks; we went for a long walk on Sunday…) and headed out with the camera.

I had to burst through thick snow drifts at the bottom of the hill, but emerged safely onto a less snowy road, as the wind graciously blew snow in parallel.
Valley Road

A quick hop around a curve or two, and I parked at the Seven Bridges Natural Area – the same place I ventured back in November for some outside time. (A quick search for “Seven Bridges” on this blog indicates that I go here frequently when needing some outside time, but am pressed for time πŸ™‚ )

Thanks to the infamous Polar Vortex, much of the Rapid River has frozen over, though where it’s exposed, the water alternately trickles and surges downstream.
Rapid River intimates-2
The sun mostly went back into hiding while I was there, but the ice formations held my attention captive. What it clings to in the swift current, I have no idea.

They’re not awe-inspiring or anything, but I think they’re worth a click for the detail in the larger versions

After the tips of my fingers shattered from the cold, I decided to get back in the car. I warmed up a bit and mended my fingers, which I would need for the big tree at the bottom of the snow-drifted road. (I’ll be checking the poll results sometime over the weekend.)

Since the sun showed a flicker of promise, I hopped back on the not-drifted road and headed for Torch Lake – curious whether it had frozen.
Cold bench with a hot view

For just a fleeting moment, the sun wrenched its way through a crack in the sky, and I put my tattered fingers to use once more. Though a wide ice shelf sits along the shore, the lake itself is still stirred by the wind, and thus not completely frozen. Because of the vast temperature differential a thick mist rose into cold, cold air – looking quite like a hot smoke in the sun’s firelight.

My fingers still hurt from playing in the cold with thin gloves the past two days, but I don’t regret for a second going out. Now that the cold spell has broken, I’ll be seeing the outside more, sun or not. How about you?

24 thoughts on “Out in the Cold

  1. Wow, Heather, these are beautiful. They almost make me want to be north. Because I know my body can’t do what you did, I am so glad to have you to do it for me. Thanks, friend. I’ll take photos of colorful flowers and green plants to feed your soul. Hopefully we will even get some sun tomorrow as we take a short trip down to Everglades City.

    • Sounds like a fair trade, Pat πŸ™‚ With our “winter” having started in November, and with it being as cold as it’s been, we’re thinking about a Florida trip. We have a couple of friends who live in Orlando, and are thinking it will be just the thing late February needs. Fingers crossed for a good trip to Everglades City!

  2. You know Heather! I’ve never seen a river frozen before! It takes on a whole ‘ other personality! And I’m wondering…what happens to the fish and other inhabitants?

    I love the tree…still hoping my favourite will win πŸ˜‰ But here, my favourite is the frozen bench…there’s just a forlornness to it that is appealing. Great pictures as always Girl πŸ˜€

    • The fish usually go to deeper waters and live in a sort of stasis that doesn’t require much by way of food or oxygen. Since this happens annually and the streams are still populated with all the things you’d expect, I suppose the other creatures take a similar approach πŸ˜‰
      I always love a bench in as a photo object, but there’s just something ironic about that welcoming/unwelcoming bench that drew me in. And thanks for the compliment πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Friday Photos – Freezing Bubbles | Adventures in Michigan's Up North

    • We do see them, but not often on the Rapid River which is narrow and swift. But a local photographer was brave (according to my standards) and made a timelapse a few years ago where he placed his camera on one of the pancakes. Here, I tracked down a link to his youtube video:

  4. The idea of cold-shattered fingertips……brrr. You are one steely woman Heather. Such resolve!
    And you are really, really good at looking at familiar sights with new eyes every time…and showing them to us too πŸ™‚
    Interesting info about the fish!

    • When you’re out in the cold, cold, cold weather, at first it kind of passes around you. Then it starts to sink in, and you think, “Gosh, my hands are starting to get cold.” But if you’re like me, and you’re determined to get that one shot, you keep going. And eventually, your fingers can’t work the little buttons on the side of the camera (you know, to switch it in and out of manual focus) because it hurts to touch anything. I’m sure it’s not advisable to let your extremities get that cold – likely the onset of frostbite. But I seem to do it a few times a year. I do quit when they start hurting, at least. I don’t push it toooo far πŸ˜‰
      As for the new eyes in old places, it’s a personal, internal resolution to find beauty in all my surroundings. It’s my version of gratitude journaling, and I think it keeps me sane (ish?). So glad you appreciate the varied perspectives!

    • Oh yes; I mended them πŸ˜‰ They were really much colder the day I was playing with bubbles. Actual physical pain that persisted for a few minutes beyond heating with warm water. I’m sure that’s good for them. Builds character, you know.

  5. Pingback: Another Sunday Sunrise | Uphilldowndale

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