Happy New Year from the winter wonderland of Washington! It’s been a somewhat dreary winter for us so far, with lots of inversions, freezing fog, and single digit temps. Fortunately, the gray pall lifted for a brief period on New Year’s Day, allowing us to enjoy a day of snowshoeing along the American River in the Cascades just west of Yakima. While it was a gorgeous bluebird day, our trail of choice followed the northern base of a tall ridge, keeping us mostly in the shade. The frequent glimpses of sunny forest across the valley were tantalizing, but the riverside scenery and relatively warm temperatures made for a pleasant outing nevertheless.
Here’s hoping to more such days (and more photography) in the months ahead, and best wishes for a joyful 2023!
Winter has arrived in the high country of Utah. Fortunately for photographers, autumn was still very much in progress when the snow started to fly. The contrast between the mid-winter wonderland and vestiges of fall color made for some great photo opportunities over the past few weeks:
After the first two winter storms of the year did nothing but lower Northern Colorado’s collective faith in local weather forecasters, we finally got our real snowfall of the year over the past few days. After a predominantly grey and shivery Thanksgiving weekend, the clouds finally revealed some blue sky today so I headed out to Horsetooth Reservoir for a few hours to grab some photos before the afternoon slate of NFL games kicked-off.
Horsetooth Reservoir is a local landmark and apart from the obvious water-based recreational opportunities, there are several world-class bouldering spots located along the east shore of the reservoir that make for some interesting winter scenes. I half expected to see some bold (feel free to pick a stronger word if you prefer…) boulderers throwing caution to the sheets of ice coating most surfaces, but despite this location’s proximity to Fort Collins (~10 minutes), I was pleasantly surprised to have the place all to myself. With no boats on the reservoir and two ridgelines separating me from the ongoing holiday shopping hustle and bustle down below, Horsetooth was unusually serene.
After wandering around for nearly an hour, I began to notice that nearly every branch and blade of grass was encrusted in about a half inch of crystal-clear ice. Not only that, but the ice had invariably accumulated on the east side of the vegetation, suggesting some fairly persistent west winds over the past few days. A far cry from the sunny serenity of Sunday afternoon!