Crystalline Adhesion on the Edge

The second blizzard in 13 months is history, this one not quite as intense, long-lived or full of photogenic effects (yet) as the one before, but interesting nonetheless, and wretchedly cold!

The following day, after I woke up, ate lunch and took the kids to a free OU hoops game, there wasn’t a lot of daylight left for photography. The bitter cold and stabbing wind didn’t engender a great desire for outdoor exploration in this man born in lower latitudes, either, but the kids and I did drive around a little to see what we could see. Donna, a budding young photographer in her own right who is learning hew new digital LSR, had noticed some snow cornices and overhangs alongside an area road as we headed to the game, and they made a fine late-afternoon photo opportunity a few hours later.

After any blizzard, strange snow shapes are a given, and this event was no exception. Some of the cornices teetering off the edges of south-facing slopes amazed us with their cohesion in defiance of gravity, curving forms of fluidity rendered rigid, visually resembling breaking waves frozen in time.

This is an abstract shot looking straight down at the edge of one overhang, as the lowering angle of the late-day sun cast long shadows off shallow ripples in the top texture.

Mini-caves like this abounded. I was tempted to push down on the roof, to see what force was needed to topple this natural engineering feat, but thoughts of such mischief were halted by a fleeting sense of guilt, akin to what keeps us from kicking over somebody’s unattended sand castle on the beach.

These two shots (above and below) actually are the same pair of overhangs seen from a diagonal and head-on! The geometric wildness was interrupted by an intervening fencepost that further contorted the obstacle flow responsible for the bizarre shapes in the first place.

I’ve been photographing winter weather scenes around these parts for a long time, but until yesterday, didn’t get any good cornice shots from Okie snow events worthy of adding to the SkyPix collection. That’s definitely changed. After catching up on some shots I still need to add from last year, these will appear there too.


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