Sign of the season

I drove past this sign south of Mandan and had to do a double-take. First off, the water in the ditch is pretty deep (and solid). Second, the sign itself is rather photogenic. Third, the patterns in the ice caught my eye.

See the cool shape of the cracks in the ice? It had started to get nice enough to warm the ice and crack it, too.

In places where the ice was thin enough I could see the vegetation below. It was still solid enough to walk on, though, and it was probably frozen all the way through.

The adjacent fence posts weren’t quite as photogenic, but the ice around them was close.

Taken from above, those looked pretty cool, too. This also shows how I could see through the ice and the nice, sunny day.

A week later I came back and found that the neatest features of the ice were gone. The warmer weather had smoothed out all the cool jagged edges, and the idea of walking out on this ice wasn’t too appealing anymore.

Oddly enough, I had to come by again for other business, so I stopped in to see that the ice had really melted around the sign. I wasn’t able to get out on it any more, even though I spend extra for the waterproof version of my shoes.

Finally, I stopped by on my way back from Fort Lincoln to check on the progress of the ice melt. Well underway, as you can see. Now we’re into telephoto lens territory…even with waders I don’t think I’d have wanted to venture any closer.

I’m so excited for Spring! Now that I’ve chronicled the seasonal changes of this location, I’m ready to start snapping photos of warmer subjects.

A post of a different vein

This is an aerial photo of McDowell Dam from last week. It was a very nice day, and the water was a-flowin’. There were rivulets of water ready to be reclassified as rivers in every low-lying area, guaranteeing the lake plenty of fresh runoff. It was a fantastic day, warm and sunny. Looking down at the ice, the cracks took on an organic nature. It reminded me of a butterfly wing or something.

I applied one of those filters you see on a lot of Facebook “photography” groups – you know, the ones where the sunrise or sunrise is so color-saturated that it makes your retinas hurt – in order to demonstrate the array of muted color beneath the ice. While some of those rivers of water rushing into the dam were relatively clean, some of them were pretty brown. The same goes for the water below the ice, apparently. Anyway, oversaturating the image gives it a much more visceral look, don’t you think?