February 6, 2012 Frost Scenes

I knew there would be some rime ice with overnight freezing fog but hadn't planned on the stratus above it departing so early in the day. So I slept in. I woke up, looked out and was pretty surprised. Said "crap" and flew out the door. Eventually wound up over at Desoto NWR. Good thing.

It was pretty darn ridiculous over there. Most amazing is the fact the water isn't froze over in early February. It was also steaming, which is also amazing to consider. If only I had been there sooner. It was nearing 10 a.m. as I got there. The one area was like glass. It is a big time feat to have glass calm water in February that is, well, water, and have it be steaming. This stuff will freeze over quite readily on one cold night. The stratus must have cleared very late in the night or very early morning, long enough to allow temps to plummet to lower 10s but not soon enough to have the calm water freezing over. It was more or less in the process of becoming ice and I think you can see it in some images.

I had to run down to the shore to get some vegetation out of the shot. As I did so, this pair of Canadian Geese moved out into the water. I'm pretty darn sure that stuff they are swimming into is the thinnest of ice, brand new ice forming.

Slightly cool looking. Luck to be there? Maybe. Probably more along the lines of a lot of trying. I had first left and drove to my parent's place in the hills. Not happy with scenes there, I thought about the flats and how they usually have the thickest frost. Soon into getting over there I thought about possible scenes in Desoto. I then wound up here. I almost didn't even head out, as I figured as late as I was, the frost would be rapidly falling off in the sun light. I flew out the door anyway and wound up here in time. It'd have been easy to chalk up the "miss" and stayed home.

I can't help but feel this scene is going to be nearly impossible to get again. It's fairly tricky to get the thick frost, but not way crazy. It's easy enough. Getting it with open waters in winter is a little more tricky. Getting it with dead calm glass open water, as easy as this crap will freeze over over night....well this is all just not likely or easily repeatable I don't think. Stratus kept temps from plummeting till late when it left, or this would for sure be ice. I couldn't believe I was seeing steam as I went in there. Air temp has to be a good bit below the water temp, which is for sure right near 32F, and so if that is the case with it being calm, it was going to be readily freezing over. By now though the steam was only really evident when looking more at the sun, which didn't work for the frost. I'm sure it would have been better had I been here sooner. That would be an almost impossible scene if you tossed steam into this. I guess maybe if you had an early snow and frost while water was still warm.

11 photos stitched. Click to see it somewhat bigger. This at full size would be ginormous. You could print this at 20 inches tall by several feet long. I did some vertical shots that if they stitched well could go even bigger. Not sure I got them all level enough to stitch well. Not really needed anyway, given how big this one could go.

Click to go a tiny big larger.

You could make some really cool waves by stepping on this thin ice. My foot eventually went through it into the water. It wouldn't matter by later anyway, as I was soaked from messing around in the snow.

That may all be extremely thin new ice there. Notice the abrupt line part way off shore in the water.

Found these guys had moved closer to the other shore. Slightly cool scene with the frost and snow as the back drop.