I made this photograph about a week ago* at the end of our “January thaw”… a couple of days with high temperatures near 50o F and nights with above freezing temperatures.
The forecast called for a cold front to move through and an accumulation of four to six inches of snow overnight and the next morning. I was reading in the living room when I noticed the weather beginning to change.
Knowing that weather in flux often makes for good photographs, I pulled on my boots and headed out for a short walk to the beaver swamp at the back of our property. We live at the south end of this wetland. There are often nice skies at the north end during changeable weather.
I began by taking a few photos from the safety of the edge of wetland. However, I knew the best place to photograph this scene was from near the middle where I could use the channel of open water as a leading line and the view of the sky to the north would be best.
If one has never walked a wetland like this, you need to know that the grassy areas you see in the foreground are called a “wet meadow” for good reason. The clumps of grass one sees are sticking out of a boggy mess. My type of terrain!
The just ending “January thaw” meant that the ice in this wet meadow was likely to be thin. I had donned only my regular hiking boots rather than my green wellies. Heading out into the meadow, I calculated that the chance of wet socks was high but one accepts such things in pursuit of “art”.
About three-quarters of the way out, I felt the rush of ice water into my left boot. I must have reacted quickly since I did not feel any of the real squishiness that accompanies a fully flooded boot and it only took a few minutes for my body heat to warm the water so that I did not notice it!
I proceeded to make some photographs while watching the cold front move across the scene in front of me. The diagonal line of heavy clouds starting at the tree line on the left and heading up and to the right is the front.
I hung around for maybe a half hour until there was no blue sky remaining in view and headed back to the house. I was about ninety percent of the way back to “dry land” when my right boot met the same fate as my left one!
Was the result worth the cold wet feet? I think so!
*On Tuesday, the 15th at 1:59 PM to be exact; ain’t metadata wonderful!