Omen of the Coming Winter in the Ozarks

Icy beads form on the trees

The storm system that recently passed through this area dropped about 5 inches of rainfall before the cold Canadian air mass dropped down from the north, bringing with it sub-freezing temperatures and a paltry 1″ of snow.  However, the interplay of the moisture and temperature caused icy crystals and frozen water droplets to form on trees and grasses around the ranch.

Sunshine and ice create sparkling glow

Sensing a golden photo opportunity was at hand, I grabbed the camera and headed outside to take a walk in the frigid morning hours.  For about a one hour duration, the sun and the ice conspired to bring a surreal, almost magical quality to the scenery surrounding me.

Ralph's pasture bathed in ice crystals

Heading along one of the main pathways on the property, I came to the area we call Ralph’s pasture (due to cousin Ralph’s fondness for this scenic locale), and hiked along it’s trails to shoot some pictures.

All the trees are shimmering

The trees were all covered with frozen water droplets, which shimmered in the sunlight.  The frozen water on the stems would crack and shatter in the soft breeze, creating a lovely high-pitched noise (not unlike a crystal wind chime) that only added to the allure of this magical morning.

More icy tree limbs and grass glow in the sunshine

Even the fescue grass in this clearing, which I have left un-cut for the benefit of the wildlife this winter, harbored it’s share of icy beauty, shimmering and singing out it’s melody as it swayed in the gentle breeze.

The fall color change ended a month ago, but the picturesque beauty of the area remains, only this time it takes on a different appearance.

15 thoughts on “Omen of the Coming Winter in the Ozarks

  1. very beautiful, we had a similar experience here. we got about 2 or 3 inches of snow. although, we have all been down with a cold so we were hold-up in the warm house–i didn’t get any picturesque photos.

  2. Stunning photos – aren’t the four seasons lovely? We pretty much blur through ours in So. Cal., so seeing photos like these are breathtaking…thanks.

  3. To all – thanks for the compliments on the photos. Sorry for the delayed response. We had a new roof installed, and the satellite dish needed to be re-aligned for us to have internet access. The satellite technician just finished the job, and I now have nearly a months worth of email, blogs, etc to catch up with.

  4. Tjilpi –

    The starburst effect when shooting into the sun is a result of the diffraction of light beams as they pass the diaphragm of the camera lens. The pattern (number of rays) will vary from lens to lens, depending upon the physical properties of the diaphragm mechanism.

    In the film medium, density filters can be used to manipulate the look of the starburst, while in the digital world mathematical algorithms (such as those utilized in the Photoshop Levels control) can be used effectively to manipulate the look of the starburst.

    Many image editing programs have tools to create an artificial starburst pattern that can be placed into an image, but the results are usually pretty unrealistic looking.

  5. Hal, thanks for the reply about the starburst phenomena. Diffraction I understand.

    I thought you had dropped off this satellite of the sun, but it was only a satellite antenna problem. Phew.

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