08 February 2009

Breaking the ice

Half a week ago, fascinated brits watched snow pouring down. I read both enthusiastic and frustrated reports from friends as the weather brought traffic to standstill.
Now, in this country, aka The Frostpit, you could expect that such weather would not precipitate chaos, but it does. We received whatever was left in the clouds yesterday, I think. About 40 cm in my front yard!
Fortunately I didn't have to go anywhere except to the local grocery store. That's just walking distance. And also fortunately, it was Saturday so I had the day off. After clearing the gate from the drifts I took position in my garage and broke a dry spell.
The spell in question is that it's been 3 years since my last decent snow crystal photo. Partly bad luck with the timing of snowfalls and available time for photography, and partly that the required conditions never came together in the last years.
The temperature has to be right; the best interval is between -3°C and -10°C. There can't be too much wind either, because then all the crystals come down all mashed up into fragments. And finally, I have to have time off from work and family to do it.
Last night it all came together. My technique has grown a little rusty since 2006, so for the first hour I got mostly half-melted or broken crystals. Here's one of them. I think it looks quite nice despite being half-melted and broken, and serves well as a token for the situation. :-)

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