Over the past week, I’ve visited Big Manitou Falls and Little Manitou Falls on the Black River in Pattison State Park in northern Wisconsin. It’s been freezing at night long enough for ice to accumulate around the waterfalls. The ice takes on strange, bulbous shapes. The orange/brown color in the ice and water is from tannin. “Streams that flow through watersheds dominated by conifers have a characteristic brown tea color that is the result of tannins leaching out of decomposing conifer needles.” *
It’s a fine time for hiking – no people, no bugs, no foliage blocking sight lines for photography. It hasn’t snowed much; not enough to prevent hiking.
* U.S. Forest Service Web Site (https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/ethnobotany/tannins.shtml)
Day One: January 30th. -20° F, wind chill -39° F, clear and bright
Day Two: February 3rd. +36° F, no wind chill, dense fog throughout the day
Day Three: February 7th. +19° F, wind chill 7° F, heavy snow, wind, getting colder
Today I was driving about the countryside across the river in Wisconsin in brutally cold but sunny weather. I love the clear, cold blue of the sky on such a day. I stopped somewhat suddenly on the road when I saw the scene in today’s photo of the day. I parked a bit far out in the road. While I was concentrating on my camera a car came past and drove right into the ditch. In snow country that’s usually not dangerous because the snow acts like a big, soft cushion. The problem is getting out. When I was a kid, before cell phones, we always ended up walking to the nearest farm-house. The farmers always seemed willing to fire up their tractor and pull us out.
It’s supposed to be even colder tomorrow. So probably back to shooting a still life inside by the fire.
Here are some more photographs from today’s excursion.
I hiked along the St Croix River today in spite of the bitter cold that has engulfed the U.S. This morning it was thirteen degrees below. The river is frozen over but there are a number of springs at the base of the cliffs along the river. The spring water is warm enough to not freeze. The water from the springs forms little streams that run into the river and almost immediately disappear under the ice of the river.
Below is a slide show of the best photos I took today.