“What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?”
― Kahlil Gibran
This year, I left a few dried hydrangea blooms in my garden. My usual ritual is to trim them all down in the fall. I’m glad I left them, they added some interest in this past, dull, nearly snowless winter, and created a nice franewirk for our recent freezing rain event.
For those who have never experienced freezing rain, I’ll include a brief description here:
Freezing rain occurs when the ground temperature is below freezing while the air layers above are warmer. The precipitation falls as rain and freezes on contact with the ground. The end effect is that everything is coated with an ever increasing layer of clear ice. If conditions are right, this accumulation can be over an inch thick and cause major damage to trees and powerlines. Because it is a gradual accumulation, delicate plants, which would collapse in snow, are held rigid by the ice that encases them.
This was the case with the hydrangeas pictured above. A thin coating of clear ice built up over a period of a few hours, making them look like the are coated in clear glass.
It’s a beautiful effect, unless you are driving and have to chisel the ice from your car, or try to walk, since the ice is usually covered in a thin layer of semi-frozen water, making it extremely slippery. This is not a good feature when you are trying to walk around with your camera. The other thing with freezing rain is that it tends to be a very brief, beautiful event, which generally melts away within a few hours, as the temperatures rise.
I find it to be a challenging time photographically, since everything is beautiful and it’s difficult to isolate a particular composition within all that beauty.
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 130 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0 -0.33, ISO 200