I find rime ice fascinating. I don’t see it very often where I live, except on rare occasions of freezing fog. I did see this quite a bit while in Yellowstone National Park this past February, so naturally, I photographed it as much as possible.
According to Wikipedia: rime ice is “a white ice that forms when the water droplets in fog freeze to the outer surfaces of objects. It is often seen on trees …”
In the case of the rime ice I saw on trees in Yellowstone, it was the result of heavy steam from geysers and hot springs freezing onto the nearby trees. It was, indeed, pure white in some areas, like at Beryl Spring, but in others, it took on a tinge of (IMO) whatever particulates were floating in the air from the geysers and hot springs. Sometimes it was a sort of pinkish tinge, and sometimes it was a yellowish tinge.
These images were captured at different areas of the park, and are nice reminders to look at the fine details of nature and not to forget to capture those small that interconnect to make up the Big Picture Landscape.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.
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I know many of you will be traveling, if you are not already doing so, solo or with others, to celebrate whatever holiday you observe that comes around this time of year. So, I thought I’d get this posted, in case any of you decide to try out your own Christmas/holiday-themed photography.
Every year, it’s a tradition for me to photograph the decorated tree and to capture the warm and cool beauty of the season where I live. If it snows outside, which it has lightly done on and off for a couple of days, then I like to capture an image of the scene, including the snowy ground and looking toward and then through the window of the house, where we set up the tree and holiday lights.
I capture images of the livingroom decorations, tree, and all the presents as seen during the day and at night. During the day, the light tends to be cooler and the tree lights a little frostier and maybe even not as well seen. There’s a light, airy feeling to the daylight shot. Night, though, is a completely different story. The colors are richly saturated on their own, but with the addition of the warm gold from the tungsten lamps and the sparkly lights of the tree. Everything looks so inviting.
I make it a point to go outside at night to capture the look of the tree and decorations through the large picture window. This scene above is a sort of yin/yang composition that I often create without even knowing it. There’s the cold blue-white light of the outside light, next to the warm, golden light of the house interior.
And of course, I capture the ornaments and decorations, their colors and their sparkle.
This year, I used my Fujifilm GFX 100 and GFX 100s cameras. The GFX100 has a 45-100mm lens attached, and the 100s has a prime 23mm lens attached. The 45-100mm is analogous to a 35mm 36-79mm lens and the 23mm lens is analogous to a 35mm wide-angle 17mm lens. The photo above, however, of the light-up little snowglobes, was captured with a Sony Alpha a7riv and 24-105mm lens.
I hope all of you have a safe, peaceful, and photographically fun holiday time. Never stop taking those pictures, because that’s how you improve and learn.
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Nature does a fine job at making her own Christmas tree, don’t you think? I photographed this lovely, snow-frosted evergreen along the side of the road in Mount Rainier National Park.
And, since it’s Fun Fact Friday as well as Christmas Day, here’s a little bit of Mount Rainier tree trivia for you: The trees in this park extend all the way up to over 6,000 feet along the mountain flanks (over 1,800 meters, more or less). Forests cover approximately 58% of this national park. And most of the trees here are evergreen conifers, meaning they have needles and they keep their needles on their branches year-round.
They call this tree the “Penthouse Tree.” The damaged bark revealed the heartwood of this tree, which began to rot. In so rotting, it provided nutrients for other vegetation, such as the leather fern and evergreen huckleberry growing atop this redwood. This vegetation has a room with a view! If you ever have a chance to visit Redwood National and State Parks, you should definitely wander this 1.3-mile easy trail located in Redwood National Park. There’s a plaque dedicated to Lady Bird Johnson, who was there to dedicate this national park. Many of the sights you’ll see have numbered stakes beside them that correspond to descriptions in a brochure of this hike. The brochure used to be available at the trailhead, but due to Covid, the box is no longer stocked. You can, however, print out and read your own copy of the pamphlet by clicking on the image above.
“Bobby socks” around Opalescent Pool in Black Sand Basin, Yellowstone National Park
“Bobby socks” along the Fountain Paint Pots Nature Trail, Yellowstone National Park
Hey folks, it’s Fun Fact Friday!
If you’ve ever visited Yellowstone National Park, you’ve seen these dead, desolate trees with the white rings around their bases. Those are called “Bobby socks” and are formed when the trees absorb the silica (natural glass) from the thermal waters. This, of course, kills the trees and “freezes” them to keep them standing.
Big tree, small tree, short tree, tall tree. I don’t know if I just made that up or if I read it in some Dr. Seuss book. Anyway, when I first stepped upon the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park, I looked up at this very tall tree and snapped a shot of it with my iPhone. There are some very tall trees, indeed, in this place.
I have no idea what possessed me to look up at this particular juncture during my foray along the Grove of The Patriarchs Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. I think it might have been to see if I could spot the little bird that was singing so exuberantly. The moment my eyes lit upon this forked tree top and the spider web between the prongs, I immediately thought of Sauron’s searching eye in The Return Of The King.
Sometimes, I capture a photo for one reason, only to find the composition looks completely different when I download it to my laptop to start editing it. This image, for instance, was photographed when I visited the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, this past July. All I wanted was a nice little leading line shot of the Bright Angel Point path with the moon in the distance. What I ended up really noticing during the editing process was that tree, which reminded me of Tolkien’s Ent, arms upraised, beseeching Nature to bring back the Entwives.
Or, perhaps, during this political climate, this tree is beseeching the government to end the shutdown and bring back the National Park Service workers to help clean up and protect the national parks. I’ve been reading so many stories about stupid people trashing the parks, and I, myself, am heading to Olympic National Park later this coming week, on assignment for the National Parks Traveler. I have no idea what I will find. I figure the beaches will still be easy to access, but I might not be able to get to the park’s interior rain forest due to downed trees blocking the road. And I wonder what kind of trash there will be – if any. Guess I’ll find out in a few days.
Rootbound along the Rim Trail toward Upper Inspiration Point Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
I’ll bet this is one of the most-photographed trees along the Rim Trail. One photographer on Flickr remarked he spent 4 hours photographing the tree/roots. Um, I did not spend that long and can’t remember the last time I stood in one place for 4 hours photographing the same stationary object. Perhaps he did exaggerate a little, but maybe not. Anyway, this tree (and others that you can find along the Rim Trail and within Bryce Amphitheater) are great examples of erosion processes there in the park. Those exposed roots were – at some point in time – once covered with soil until it was all eroded away. And yet, there stands the tree, continuing to keep a toe-hold to its survival.
The key to getting a clear shot of both tree and background is to either take two shots – one focusing on just the tree and the other focusing on the background – and blend them together (aka “focus stack”) or take a wide-angle shot and then crop to taste, which is what I did, since I was handholding the camera.
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