Fall Creek Winter

The magic of ice, water, light

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This January 2005 morning dawned cold, the risen sun low to the south of a forested esker ridge, as I suited up for this long planned for photograph.  A Sony DSC-F828, a UV filter and tripod were all I needed to capture this.  That camera model has a integrated flex lens.  I needed to stabilize the lens to achieve this image clarity, depth and sharpness.

The shimmering gloss was achieved by waiting until the sun was above the ridge, shining light shafts through the trees, lighting the water obliquely.

As late as January the stream carries enough heat to create a fog or mist as the air chills after sunset.  This causes twigs to frost up to create those white stick figures on the far bank.  Snowfall from the previous day clings to trees.

Fall Creek freezes from the bottom up.  First the water smoothed boulders accumulate a glaucous ice coat.  Slowly moving water freezes from the edges, in stages, the middle stage an ornate filagree.  The stream narrows downstream where the surface ice first joins.  As the year progresses through February the creek gradually recedes under the ice, replaced by an ice road.

What is an esker ridge?  As the last glaciers melted 10,000+ years ago, the channels carrying meltwater and sediment, under the glaciers, deposited these winding ridged hills.  One of the outcomes was the channel of Fall Creek was altered to flow through the field of eskers among which, in the 19th century, a dam and water mill were created.  It made barrels and furniture.  My former home, in this photograph, was converted from the workshop of that mill.

Click this link to learn MORE about my Award-Winning photograph and misadventures of that day. 

Copyright 2017 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

17 thoughts on “Fall Creek Winter

  1. A beautiful image, Michael. It’s hard for an Aussie girl to appreciate life in this setting! We do have our snow fields, and areas where snow falls (sporadically and short lived). However, to truly understand life in this setting is quite a grasp, as incredibly mesmerising as the scene is it must have been a struggle, at times?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my! I did follow the link; however, I didn’t read all the description thinking it was a repeat of your post. Wasn’t I wrong! It amazes me the lengths some photographers go to get ‘that’ image. Poor you; that must have been absolutely awful to spend the winter like that. Though, I must say, the ‘capture’ is very special, indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t stand cold winter but I like this shot.

    I especially like how those frosted branches at the edge of the left third stand out against the shadowed snow in the background. It’s a beautiful detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful description and so glad you shared this about eskers. You know I have been twice to an Ohio esker and posted about it; but misspelled it as “escher.” (Who obviously was a great artistic photographer, especially those neverending stairs. . .)

    Liked by 1 person

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