About two weeks ago, I was feeling a little stir crazy and needed to get some fresh air. This winter hasn’t provided very well for my favorite winter photography opportunities. We’ve had almost no snow, no ice storms, and only intermittent periods that freeze streams and wetlands and provide ice bubbles and other patterns. I looked outside and the light was reasonably good, so I pushed away from my desk, grabbed my gear, and headed over to Lincoln Creek.
I was planning to walk the prairie in search of interesting seeds or anything else that caught my eye. As I walked past the creek itself, however, I noticed with some surprise that it appeared to be still frozen. I guess the high banks and trees kept it shaded enough that even with recent warm weather, it hadn’t yet thawed. I gingerly tested the ice depth and found it sufficient to hold my weight. The surface of the ice was littered with leaves and seeds (as well as some less attractive litter like cans, plastic bags, etc.). I started walking slowly with my eyes down, scanning for anything interesting.
The dappled light through the tree branches was both interesting and challenging. A few times, I found a leaf or seed I liked the look of, but it was in the shade instead of the light. Sometimes, I photographed it anyway, but more often, I marked the spot and returned a few minutes later when the sun’s movement had shifted the shadows away from my target.
After about 45 minutes or so, I crawled back up the eroded banks and headed back to the truck. As often happens, the photos I came away with weren’t anything like what I’d envisioned before arriving, but that wasn’t a bad thing. I guess it’s yet more evidence that it’s always worth getting out to explore. You never know what you’ll find – even on an eroded. litter-filled creek on the edge of town.
You have encouraged me to seek out frozen streams. Now if only we had cooler weather down here for a while. It’s been quite a warm winter.
I lost a “wildfriend” coyote this year who had been on my trailcam for most of his life. Succumbed to the 29 degree weather, I guess. He just lay down as if sleeping. So sad. Took many photos of how nature dealt with him and the interactions of the many types of vultures and caracaras.
Chris, I so much enjoy your photographs. I don’t know if you thought about it, but the pattern of the cracks (??) in the center of the first image make it look just like a rose sitting on top of the maple leaf with fern leaf sprays behind it. The perfect photo for Valentine’s Day. How fortunate you are to be out looking for and finding the beauty of Nebraska. Thank you for sharing, Roxanne
Roxanne Smith Tourism Supervisor
Office of the Nebraska Capitol Commission 7th Floor, Nebraska State Capitol P.O. Box 94696 Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4696 402-471-0449 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.capitol.nebraska.gov
Chris, the Nikon 105 is the lens of lenses. Such a great piece of kit!
Agreed! The older version is super cheap since the fancy new VR lens came out
Your photos challenge me to look at things from different perspectives when out on my walks.
My eyes are growing old and your post helps me enjoy the what I know is there but invisible to my eyes.
Captivating microcosms and stories revealed in these images. Can’t escape the loveliness of Nature’s winter debris in contrast with the mention of trash nearby. Sigh.
“Ice Bubbles and Ash Seeds” as well as “Leaves and Seeds” would make great photos to hang on a wall.