Much of northern Illinois was covered with heavy frost at the first of the year. Some was Rime Ice, a very thick ice that forms when a fog is present during winter weather. Some was Hoar Frost, ice crystals that form when the temperature is well below freezing and the moisture creates ice crystal growths that resemble thorns or hairs. It was a very cold walk that day when I ventured out to capture images. Eye glass wearers always struggle on those very cold days to keep their glasses clear. But add a mask for COVID and fogging up just won’t stop. As a result, quite a few images captured were not in focus. That didn’t stop me from trying, however! Every branch and twig was covered with Hoar Frost. It was amazing to explore and get up close to see the ice crystals. The weather conditions have to be just right for this phenomenon to appear. And within hours the sun had melted all the crystals. It was a special time to be outside and look at all the ways the ice crystals grew.
This lovely native bush is in full bloom in early July. The blooms look like the brushes for baby bottles, hence the name. But this species is native to Illinois and its full name is Bottlebrush Buckeye. It spreads out and fills the shaded area. Some branches are low to the ground.
The sky was clear, but the temperature was cold. We decided to take several short walks in Morton Arboretum, late afternoon on New Year’s Day. As the sun lowered, the oak leaves turned gold and the colors on Lake Marmo, which was ice covered, offered reflections and colors. It was a great way to start 2020!
The sky was like a watercolor painting, with soft hues and colors. The clouds were sparse, but lovely. They looked a bit like popcorn in places. As the bright orange sun set, the colors and drama deepened. These were taken at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve.
As the sun sets in my neighborhood, the brown oak leaves still on the trees turn a brilliant orange. As I walked I saw this brilliance framed perfectly by trees. Nature’s Golden Hour art framed for us to see!
Making a starburst image of the setting sun, is not difficult. But finding the right circumstances, weather, timing, and framing can be difficult. In this case, I didn’t plan it. I saw it, grabbed my camera and tried to find a view without the pesky water tower!
I’ve been sick with bronchitis the last few weeks. As such, I’ve watched spring blossom from indoors, not getting many images. But I have gotten a few. I’m trying a new editing method. These images have a slightly different look than Spring flowers in past years.