Thursday, February 13, 2014

"We're Not in Kansas Anymore": Photographs of a Unique Winter

"Old Man wintertime
He goes so slow
Its ten degrees below, you know
You can take your ice and snow
And let my balmy breezes blow…"
---James Taylor

I know that in the blink of an eye, I will be complaining that summer's "balmy breezes" are too darn hot.  I'll be frustrated by however many consecutive 90+ degree days, not to mention the sticky humidity, and the annoyance of getting sunscreen in my eyes.  I'll be itching for the relief of an air-conditioner.

But for now, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, this feels like the winter that never ended.  Last week our sons had three "snow days," and on two nights our family had local friends sleep at our house, as they had lost power and heat in their homes.  Walking the dog on 10 degree mornings is no joy, and I can't wait to put away the snowblower, shovels, and calcium chloride for the season.

Now that I've vented, let me say that our freezing, snow and ice-filled winter has created some truly beautiful, captivating, and at times almost surreal photographic opportunities.  To paraphrase the Wizard of Oz"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Bucks County anymore."  The thing is, we still are in Bucks county, it just looks completely different. To capture the following images, I stood outside in the snow and freezing drizzle, walked (cautiously) on a frozen pond and river, and manipulated my camera in 10 and 20 degree temperatures, when I could barely feel my fingers. With the exception of a few images of the Threadleaf Japanese Maple Tree (in Princeton, New Jersey), I took all of these photographs in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Yardley Train Bridge and the frozen Delaware River
Yardley, Pennsylvania
Rowboat stuck in the Frozen Delaware River.
Yardley, Pennsylvania.
Park Bench in Snow
Lake Afton, Yardley, Pennsylvania
Ice Hockey on Frozen Pond
Lake Afton, Yardley, Pennsylvania
Damaged Threadleaf Japanese Maple Tree in freezing Drizzle
Marquand Park, Princeton, New Jersey
Broken Branch of Threadleaf Japanese Maple Tree
Marquand Park, Princeton, New Jersey
Detail of Frozen Branches of Threadleaf Japanese Maple Tree
Marquand Park, Princeton, New Jersey
Partially Frozen Delaware River with Snow-Covered Trees
Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania
Frozen Branch of Japanese Maple Tree
Yardley, Pennsylvania (in our front yard!)
Geese on Frozen Delaware River
Yardley, Pennsylvania
Canal and Tow Path in Snow
Yardley, Pennsylvania

Included in the photographs above are three images of a Threadleaf Japanese Maple Tree in Marquand Park (in Princeton, New Jersey).  Previously I had photographed this tree in a wide variety of seasons, conditions, and times of day. (To see my earlier blog post with a variety of photographs of this beautiful tree, click HERE).  Last week I eagerly returned to the tree only to find that it had been significantly damaged by the combination of heavy snow and ice.  Sad to see the condition of this wonderful tree, I thought of the  George Harrison song "All things must pass…"