One of those beautiful early spring or late winter rain-turns-to-snow days arrived here in the Panhandle on Monday. The snow flakes turned large and the evening light allowed a few photos through the windows. A mallard breeding pair has used our block for some years and Monday’s snow caught them resting in our front yard. Out the back window, a few pines started catching snow and a handheld, long exposure, on the order of 1/15th of a second, gives movement to the falling snow. Perhaps I’m too lazy to use a tripod, but at that moment the tripod was in the driveway, in the not-so-new, but recently washed and waxed vehicle.
The longer exposure, even without the tripod here, expresses, to my eye at least, the trails of snow falling. The snow continued the fall during the night, and I went to bed promising my self and Marlene that I’d be out dark and earlier to take advantage of the snowfall, especially if the promised fog that the weather channel said would be blanketing the Panhandle would appear. At about 3 a.m. fog hadn’t made an appearance, and neither did I. But a friend had mentioned the pasque flowers in the Pine Ridge that he’d seen while turkey hunting this weekend, so even without the fog, upward and onward.
I couldn’t let a little mud keep me from driving some of the Pine Ridge two-tracks open on the U. S. Forest Service. The USFS office north of the railroad tracks on Main St. in Chadron has their new road maps available–photographers and Pine Ridge visitors can learn more about the newly enacted road restrictions. Anyway, I found the pasque flowers and used an umbrella draped over the shoulder to keep the melting snow and falling snow from the overhead pines off the camera. Staying dry wasn’t an option for the photographer, lying down to view and photograph the flowers from their level was a given. Anyway, here are a few. I used a full frame DSLR, fitted with a macro lens, a modified Leica 100mm apo that requires manual focusing and manual exposure, but produces excellent sharpness.