A guest post from Anne Stine, one of our Hubbard Fellows. All photos are by Anne.
I’ve finally returned to Wood River after a long absence. It’s been ages since I was out on the prairie, or since I even saw it out the window. The re-acquaintance period after my long time away did not disappoint. Just after I got back, we had some fun weather in the wake of the polar vortex (though I was *less* excited about the frozen pipes…). Specifically, we saw fresh snow followed by hoarfrost. I was pleased to have a reason to get outside and take pictures.
I’ve seen hoarfrost before, but I’m struck by how lacey and delicate the world looks with white limning the edges of each leaf and twig. Fresh snow is dramatic in its own right. I like the way it fuzzes out the horizon and scatters light.
I am also pleased to report that I have retained my ability to withstand the cold weather. I dress like an arctic explorer, but at least I get outside!
The morning I woke to hoarfrost, I made a bee-line to the sand pit restoration to capture it on the cottonwoods. The sand pit restoration is one of my favorite places to tromp around in the Platte River Prairies. I return there regularly enough I was able to make this fun comparison of summer and winter images. I find this reconstructed wetland to be picturesque year-round. These two pictures are up on TNC Nebraska’s Instagram, nature_ne. I’m so glad I’m here to see the much-feared prairie winter.