I took off yesterday afternoon armed with a backpack a bottle of water, my gun [for 'yotes and varmints], my old Nikon D40 and the Nikon D3200.
Various filters were stuffed inside the back pack all sorted carefully with best intentions, the Dolica tripod was securely fastened by Velcro.
I was ready.
I stuck my little pink fugly camera in my coveralls breast pocket and launched myself out the door.
I slid into my snowshoes and made extremely good time across the 'Merry Meadow'. I stayed on top of the snow most of the way which amazed me.
I barely made any noise because the 6" snowfall we were receiving muffled my footsteps.
My goal was to get to the creek and get some awesome long exposure shots as per our group's assignment this week.
I warmed up while hiking across the meadow and on the steep descent into the valley. ~ Reminder to self ~ take the GPS and see just how steep that point is!
The forest was pretty quiet. I stopped often to look around the hillsides. The snow was gently falling and I kept wondering if that would mess up my photos.
Would I even get any good photos?
Would it stay overcast?
One foot in front of the other.
I was quite surprised to find that much of the creek had frozen over. Okay, you say water freezes, but normally not this water. Several springs feed the creek and it runs fairly fast in places. I could hear water under the ice.
My normal spot for shooting some icy little water falls was a sheet of white. In fact I could walk on the ice with the snowshoes and because of the weight distribution, not break through.
I walked clear to the end of the valley before I found anything I thought worth taking a shot of. I carefully started to climb down the steep bank.
The snow bank broke away and I landed on the creek ice.
Lucky me, it supported my weight.
So I set up the tripod. Got out the D3200 and set it up. I focused the lens on what I wanted, or thought I wanted. Set the focus, put on the Hoya ND 400X filter and let the timer do its magic. I stuck a piece of electrical tape across the eyepiece as to not confuse the camera with light leaking in.
This was a new trick learned from my 'group'.
The water fall I'd picked was choosing to be a rather difficult model. I couldn't get closer without breaking ice and getting wet. The water was falling in a rather dark area and the snow and ice presented all sorts of settings issues.
I don't know how long I worked at it, but I realized that my hands were becoming red and very painful.
I shut the camera off and stuck my hands through the coveralls and laid them under my shirt.
Talk about stinging! Owe!
I would have hopped up and down and said some curse words but just shuffled from one frozen foot to the other.
When did the feet freeze?
I'm glad no one was watching, I'd have been sent to the loonie bin for sure.
I seriously considering getting some dry grasses together so I could start a wee fire and warm my hands up.
Then I decided to just pack up and head home.
Did I forget to say that it was all of about 3 degrees F out? Well, I very un-gracefully climbed the snow-dirt bank out of the creek and did a near face first into the snow.
Then I put on my determined face and marched hard to warm up my feet and the rest of my body. I bypassed some really cool spots that would have stopped me on a warmer day.
Eventually I got to our creek bottom and was warm enough to take a shot or two for 'The Creek Project'.
Here the water was flowing quite nicely although the creek was much narrower than usual.
I was amazed at how clear the water was. And it even became more evident when I used a polarized filter with a weaker ND filter. It was getting late and the light was fading fast.
Morris did not come with me on this trip. It was just too darned cold.
Just before I got to the summer pasture I stopped and watched several deer browsing. No, I didn't get any shots, I'd already put the cameras safely in zip lock bags inside my insulated camera back pack.
I simply watched and enjoyed.
By the time I made it back to the house I regained feeling in my toes and my fingers.