Contrails at sunset

December 29, 2006 at 6:09 pm

Another shot from the car on the drive back to St. Louis yesterday. It was one of those days where every single jet contrail just hung in the sky forever.


Self portrait at 145 kph

December 28, 2006 at 7:17 pm

Took this shot using my new lens as Mark passed this truck at a possibly illegal speed in the middle of Indiana. It’s not as focused as I might have liked, but I like it.


Evening Cruise

December 27, 2006 at 7:12 pm

Ok, I admit it, this image is manufactured. Mark got me a book on Photo-Shopping landscape images for Christmas, and I thought I’d try out some of their suggestions.

Here, I had some great shots of geese on a plain blue sky with my new telephoto lens, and some old, relatively boring shots of early evening clouds (taken with the wide angle lens and polarizing filter). Using some of the methods in the book, this is the result.


Icy trees

December 26, 2006 at 6:09 pm

Here’s two more shots from our drive home through western Kansas.

Ice can be so beautiful and so destructive. Lucky for this part of the country, there aren’t a ton of trees around. If this much ice had landed in a more arboreal part of the mid-west, we would have power outages galore.


Ice storm sunrise

December 24, 2006 at 6:20 pm

We stopped in Colby, Kansas on the way back to St. Louis Friday night. It turns out the giant snow storm on the Front Range was quite the ice storm in Kansas. As the sun was rising, we drove past this rest area with a comical amount of ice making the trees droop in every direction. I encouraged Mark to make a pair of U-turns so we could go back and take some pics (and a potty break). The light sparkling through the ice coating the trees, fences, and power lines made this about the prettiest place I’ve ever seen in Kansas.

Hey, by the way, Merry Christmas everybody! Happy Holidays, and enjoy the winter solstice!


Frosty morning

December 22, 2006 at 9:56 am

Merry Christmas to me! I snuck out my brand-new telephoto lens this morning and then snowshoe’d out into this beautiful spot to try it out. Actually, I usually don’t take pictures of this lake, it’s just not usually pretty. But three feet of snow and a heavy morning frost can transform any drainage ditch into a winter wonderland.


The Holiday Blizzard of 2006

December 21, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Well, this has been a heck of an adventure. There are a whole bunch of incredible pictures in the photo gallery. Check ’em out!

On Wednesday morning we woke up to snow and wind blowing at a sustained 35mph. Visibility was low, but there wasn’t too much snow sticking to the ground, so Mark and I left for work. At about 10:30am, the visibility was even lower, and snow was blowing and drifting all over the roads. The head of my department sent out an email telling everybody to head home as soon as possible, and then the University sent an email saying the school was closing at noon. I started out towards home at around 11. Mark was sent home at 12:30pm.

It took me about an hour to make my way home. I found myself blowing through snowdrifts taller than my bumper in some places, and I was thankful for the 4wd on the suv. It took Mark about 2 hours to make his way home. In the last 30 feet to the garage, the Passat got stuck in the three feet of drifted snow that had already accumulated on the driveway. Mark and I got out and shoveled frantically trying to dig a path for the car before the snow swirled in and filled it back up. Rocking and pushing, we got the Passat into the garage about half an hour later.

The snow came down, and the wind blew all afternoon and all evening. For a while Mark tried to shovel out a space behind the suv in the garage, but gave up and his work was erased entirely within a couple of hours.

Liv in the blizzard

Thursday morning I opened the garage to let Liv out for a walk, and there was a foot and a half of snow piled against the door. I wore my snowshoes out and I was happy to have done so. The whole neighborhood was buried. There was a 5 foot drift outside our garage, and most cars were buried up to their hoods. The plow had been through exactly once in the night, and most of the roads were just filled with feet of snow.

Buried after the storm

Around noon the neighborhood’s little backhoe showed up, and promptly got stuck in the snow. He dug himself out and started helping us with the shoveling. It went much faster after that.

Mark and I were able to get out for a bit in the evening. Most of the main roads were pretty well cleared, but all of the side streets were still buried. I was amazed at how many people I saw out hiking around in snowshoes or skiing around town. The thing that most astounded me was how much fun everybody was having! Everywhere we went people were smiling and laughing at the craziness of it all. We saw more of our neighbors today out shoveling than we have all year, and all of them wanted to talk about how we were doing and how amazing the whole storm was. It was great to see everybody pull together to help out stuck cars and shovel out driveways. The whole town seemed happy to have a snow day!!


Blizzard Warning

December 20, 2006 at 6:23 am

Well, I can pretty honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever been somewhere that’s under a blizzard warning. They are forecasting high winds gusting to around 50mph, and somewhere between 10 and 20 inches of snow in the next 30 hours. I posted the NWS map for our area below, I like all of the pretty colors!

Thankfully, we’re not planning on traveling much of anywhere until Friday night, but we are supposed to drop the yellow car off for brake maintenance this afternoon, and that is going to be rather difficult. I think I’m going to take my snowshoes to work with me today… just in case.