Crystallised countryside

After the snow at the beginning of February, last weekend the temperatures in this part of the world plummeted to a wintry -12C creating a cold crystalline landscape.

So here are some pictures from the frost bound south Cambridgeshire countryside:

Ash saplings and brambles festooned with ice crystals on the shaded north side. The sun had already stripped the south side bare of frost

It was still early in the morning so the sun was low in the sky and created ghostly scintillations as it reflected from showers of dancing frost crystals dislodged by wafts of icy breeze.

As I walked my footsteps made loud cracking and crunching sounds but when I stood still it was completely silent. No cars, no birdsong, just the sound of the breeze. It was absolutely beautiful.

The rays of the sun couldn’t reach the grass stems so they remained coated with crystals through the day

Giant burdock

The burrs of the burdock (Arctium lappa) normally provide seeds for goldfinches to feast on but today they were twice their normal size and weighed down by a thick coating of frost.

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14 responses to “Crystallised countryside

  1. Finn, regarding the extension tubes–if the dedicated ones made by your camera manufacturer are too pricey, Kenko makes a very decent after-market set, for something around US $140, I think. All the auto-focus and shutter-apertrue communication with the body work just fine. I’d be really wary of off-brands (and second-hand Kenkos), though. Good luck!

    • That’s some really useful information, thankyou for the advice I’m going to have a look online shortly and see what I can find.

      P.S. I see from your profile your a musician. I’ve been learning bass guitar for the last year which is in fact the reason I haven’t poksted this week because I’ve been devoting some time to that. Good luck with your next CD!

  2. What a beautiful icy frost! I see far too few of these and always count myself very fortunate when one comes my way. I especially like the filigree effect on your second image. I’d love to see some closer studies!

    • They don’t happen too often here either, it’s seldom cold enough. I was using my 70-300mm lens on this trip so I couldn’t get closer, but a macro lens is on my list of things I’d really like to acquire soon. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Finn

      • I do a lot of macro work, but can’t afford a dedicated macro lens. I really recommend that you consider either extension tubes or an auxiliary camera that does close (1 cm) macro work, like the $200 Pentax WG-1 (and it’s waterproof).

      • Thanks for the tip. I used to use extension tubes years ago with my 35mm SLR for photographing fungi, and they worked really well. Good call, I shall have a look for some.

  3. Great photos! I also love to walk through a frosty countryside.

    • It was visually stunning, although I guess the wild creatures that have to stay warm and find food in it consider it rather less appealing!

      One of the things I like about frosty walks is that to a large degree the photographs take themselves. Like the one with the brambles and ash saplings, I walked round a bend and there was the picture – all I had to do was open the shutter.

      • Hello Rick, thanks for the comment. Fortunately I like going out in the snow, my hands were so cold I couldn’t feel them, but it was good fun!

  4. It’s a lovely sound when you crunch over snow and ice. Your photos are beautiful, I particularly like the giant burdock.

    • I like that burdock too, it lines the track where I regularly walk and when there’s no snow it’s home to dunnock and wren and goldfinch. And then it snows and freezes and… well you can see for yourself. Awesome.

  5. How very pretty! I love the silent sound after snow.

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