Friday, January 31, 2014

Winter At The Beach

Even here at the normally moderate coast of North Carolina, January has been brutal and frigid. We have experienced two bouts of a Polar Vortex that has brought single digit temperatures and unusual snowfall.

For those who live in New England, or the mountainous west, our temperatures and snow are normal and barely deserve a notice. But here, at what is a beach resort in the summer, and a benign place to be in the winter, this has been an exciting and unique winter so far.

The latest storm brought 6 inches of snow to this area, where snowplows are an unusual sight, and their drivers are more experienced at removing sand from the roadways rather than the white stuff.

Venturing out yesterday morning in an attempt to get some unique photographs was an exercise in futility. The roads were barely drivable, there was no place to safely pull off to get a few photos, and the normally easily accessible beach parking lots were impassable. I finally found one parking area that looked promising. I pulled in and went in search of something interesting to photograph. Other than the rarely seen snow, there was nothing photogenic that I could find.  I gave up and headed back to my car, only to find that it would not start. It is relatively new and has never given me any problem at all, so it was a shock that my normally reliable chariot would not fire up

After a few choice words that I will not share with you, I called a friend with 4-wheel drive to come rescue me. He arrived with jumper cables and in an instant my car sprang to life. After a trip to a local repair shop for a diagnosis, it was determined that the battery did indeed have a terminal (no pun intended!) illness, and it was replaced.

So with a reliable vehicle once again, I headed out to look for more promising areas. Ended up finding this unique scene on the sound (what is called a bay in other parts of the country).

These mini icebergs were floating in the open water surrounded by a layer of ice. What looks like sand in the image is actually patches of ice.  The reflection of blue sky and a glint of sunlight adds some brightness and pizzazz to this simple scene.

Shutter Speed 1/640 sec.  Aperture f/14.  ISO 400.  Lens: Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS set at 200mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III.  Handheld.

TODAY’S QUOTE: “The first fall of snow is … a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?"  J.B. Priestley 

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