First Snowflake of the Winter

I woke up yesterday and was greeted with large clumps of snow falling from the sky. The snow was wet and difficult to photograph, but I made the best of it and came up with this image:

These pillars of ice are snow crystals that form at warmer temperatures. Because the snow was clumping together, occasionally I noticed these pillars of ice in odd structures worthy of photographing. So there you have it, the first “snow flake” of the season – with many more of them to come!

Studying Frost

It has begun! Temperatures are dropping below zero at night, allowing me to photograph frost in the morning. This winter I intend to spend a lot of time photographing frost, ice crystals and snowflakes in preparation for a book on snowflakes I’m publishing next year. I can’t wait!

These two photos are taken from the black trim around my car’s windows. This one shows what appears to be rectangular crystal formations. Interesting, as water usually freezes into 6-sided crystals. One study published in 1954 shows ice forming rectangles at very cold temperatures, but I think the more likely explanation is that this is the rectangular edges of hexagonal crystals. Science!

The below photo shows growth of a much more smooth design, almost looking like leaves.

Much more to come at the temperature continues to drop. Stay tuned!


Big Lens at the Zoo

During the weekend that I had the gigantic 800mm lens for the moon photos I posted recently, Desi, Mom, Walter and I all spent a day at the Toronto Zoo. Thanks to the folks at the zoo for free passes! I got some great portraits of the big cats:

It was a great day, even though it was a little chilly and rainy. I could have spent twice as much time there, if my arms could handle the weight of carrying that lens around!

Check out the gallery below, and let me know what your favourite shots are!