The fallen tree seems to be a clear message – don’t try walking up the icy stream bed.

Never seen this stream completely frozen before.

Even listening very carefully, I could not hear the faintest burbling sound under the ice.

Even the places that look like water, are just clear pools of ice, on top of the milkier layers.








Finger Lakes, FLX, Frostbite, Nature, snow, Things to Do When Your Water Crystallizes on You, Winter

Walks Around The Finger Lakes ~ January ~ ~ Finger Lakes Forest ~ ~ 5 °F.


24 thoughts on “Walks Around The Finger Lakes ~ January ~ ~ Finger Lakes Forest ~ ~ 5 °F.

    • 🙂 That’s about right! I made it a heroic six feet to take a picture, and then got back on land. We’ve all been a bit more cautious lately, my mother completely dislocated her elbow a week ago, slipped on a patch of ice.
      But they’re promising mid-50’s by Friday! I’m sweating already.

  1. Sorry to hear about your mom’s mishap. I hope she recovers quickly. I still remember bouncing down an entire set of about fifteen ice-covered steps on my rear end. No damage was done, except to my pride, but that was the day I learned that Texas has ice storms.

    The sunlight in the first photo surprised me. When I first looked at the post, I saw the second photo, and assumed they all would be a little gloomy. I’ve always thought that, no matter how cold, snowy, or frozen, sunlight increases a sense of well-being: or at least a sense that “we can get through this.”

    • I was thinking about your comment re sunlight vs gloominess. I’m not satisfied with these photos – – I wanted to show a stream that was 100% solid, like frozen milk, but didn’t want to hold up our hike, to adjust the settings, so the shots were overexposed, and I had to darken them a bit artificially. But the dimness in a hemlock woods, or even “roamin’ in the gloamin’” in a forest, doesn’t equate to gloominess to me. I don’t think it’s entirely a matter of becoming acclimated or habituated. Some of it is personal perception and taste. I’ve lived in places with intense sunlight, and enjoyed them, but I prefer the cool, foggy climates. It was fascinating to visit the southwest deserts, but the northern woods, on a cool day, with a mist swirling around, or a wintry evening, with snow settling on the branches, are wonderful to me.
      There’s a blogger in northern England (smackedpentax), who takes fantastic photos of the moors. I think some people might find his windswept, treeless hills to be bleak, even desolate, while I think they’re stunningly beautiful. But I noticed, whenever he walks near a woods, he describes it as gloomy or spooky, while to me, they look peaceful and an intriguing place to explore.

      • I’ve been thinking about what makes a day (or a scene, or a photo) seem “gloomy” to me. I’ve never thought fog is gloomy. A dim forest isn’t gloomy. Darkening skies and looming storms aren’t gloomy. But days that are dank and dark, with lowering skies and an oppressive stillness, can seem gloomy. It has to do with the light, I suppose — although it’s more than that.

        Of course, one of the mysteries of a photograph is that it can look completely different on different days. That seems to have more to do with our perception (shaped by who knows how many factors) than with the scene itself.

        • Yes, sometimes the air feels heavy, lacking oxygen, and oppressive, and sometimes I get that feeling in particular houses or buildings, too, and often would have trouble pinpointing and explaining clearly, what exactly gives that feeling.

  2. The pictures looked overexposed, the snow really reflects, so I actually ended up darkening them. One of the reasons I like winter hikes — you can walk at dusk or by moonlight and it’s amazingly bright.

    • The DSLRs I’ve used typically underexpose pictures with lots of snow, so I’ve learned to add 1/3 or 2/3 of a stop or even a whole stop to the meter reading in cases like that. I always shoot in RAW, which normally allows recovery of the highlights. Snow aside, some photographers I know in Austin recommend always “exposing to the right” somewhat.

      • I have a very basic setup – – a Sony Alpha 3000, about the cheapest entry-level DSLR I could find, and invested another $10 in a polarizing filter, and a pretty antique light meter, that’s about the total kit I usually have with me. I’ve never tried using the raw format, or adding a stop, but I’ll keep experimenting, thank you for the tips. I’d like to be able to get good shots of snow.

        • I strongly recommend shooting in RAW, or at least RAW + JPG, so you have the RAW files to return to. Software like Photoshop keeps getting better, and I’ve sometimes managed to go back to old RAW files and get more out of them than I would have been able to with the software that existed then.

    • You’re right about that. I have memories galore of walking in winter under a full moon, and I’d do it again in a minute. We had an ice skating rink about a mile or so from our house, and I used to walk over there after supper to skate for a while. My best-ever snow-and-moonlight walk was in the Black Forest, both during and after a fabulous, deep snowfall. Good times.

  3. I’d forgotten that song — the era had so much good music. When I took my walk, I was visiting the home of the parents of the bookkeeper for our hospital in Liberia (we had a month to travel every Christmas and New Year). They lived in a traditional house with the cattle below, and every day I was there I’d be awakened by the aroma of freshly baked bread. Heaven!

  4. Robert – just saw the conversation about shooting RAW above…when you try it, don’t be too dismayed initially if your photos lack the punch you’re used to. It’s easy to put that all back in, and like Steve said, in the long run you’ll be better off, when you want to recover highlights, etc.

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