February 8th pictures – down by the river


This strip of river was unfrozen a couple of days ago.


About half an hour from sunrise

I’m gonna wake up early for once in my life and take pictures of the sunrise, I told myself recently. And not cheat and just stay up all night, because too much of that will kill me dead.

So I woke up early and headed out in two hats, two scarves, two sweaters, two pairs of socks, one pair of pants plus one pair of leggings, and one pair of mittens (which I didn’t wear because mittens are the opposite of manual dexterity). The windchill was -2°F, which is probably not too bad for the time of day and  year. I stayed surprisingly toasty but my hands were contorted into twisted claws by the end.


My mittens, doing no damn good since 2011.



I wasn't brave enough to stand here too long; I heard, or thought I heard, a crack.

I walked down to the sandbar in the river in the woods behind our house. My dad and I walked there the other day, which was the first time I’ve gone out there in the winter. It’s a little tough to get to because so much of the riverbank has eroded and what is left is often a tangled mass of uprooted trees, irritating thorny brush, and steep, slippery passages. But if you’re careful you can find a sensible path down there. Then it’s just a ten- or fifteen-foot, careful trek across the ice. The river is mostly frozen over but at some parts, the ice is quite thin. Luckily it’s very shallow there. Once or twice I heard a low cracking sound, always from a perceptible distance. The unnecessarily anxious part of me cried DEATH NO when this happened.


Clumps of grass and brush clinging to a tree that was formerly upright and growing on the riverbank.


A lovely pink shell.


Sometimes they look like suspect marshmallows.

I woke up early in the hopes the sunrise would be spectacular. It was alright, as sunrises go. Not to disrespect the notion of sunrises or the notion of waking up alive — I’m just saying it wasn’t technicolor or anything. And that’s okay!!! It turns out the MVP was shared among all of the many lovely plants, frost formations, and combinations thereof, all lit nicely by the sunrise in a crucial supporting role. There, see, everyone’s happy.







I love how the trees look with the sunlight on them, before the sun is even visible in the sky.







One of my favorite pictures from the morning.









This was one of the prettiest ice formations I've seen. I didn't notice it until I heard the crack when I accidentally stepped on it.



Two pieces of pop culture inevitably come to mind whenever anything river surfaces, and since there’s not enough media in this post, let’s share them! One of my favorite SNL sketches and one of my favorite Neil Young songs:


23 thoughts on “February 8th pictures – down by the river

    • Thank you very much!

      This is my camera. I usually always edit the photos I post but I try to keep it to a minimum. About a third in this post are straight out of the camera (the flowers and foliage towards the end; a lot of the landscapes); the rest have either been cropped, had the contrast upped and tinted more on the reddish-yellow side, or both.

      I have no problem with editing (obviously) though I really love it when I get the photo I intended to without computer magic. I’m trying to take more pictures like that, and it’s easier to do with a morning as nice as this one!

      • Amazing for a compact camera. I like the fact that the post-editing is minimal. My photography skills are not ass strong so I rely heavily on post-editing. The photo is a means to my art. The entire process is wonderful. The end goal is always the same: share our unique view point with the world, which you do very well. Keep up the great work!

    • Since I can’t reply to your comment below (I get that WordPress probably doesn’t want to ugly up their comments pages too much by having all these nested comments, but seriously) — I’ll say that yes, I think this is a really great little camera. I want a dslr very badly, but until I can afford one I’m really happy with this one, and I know I’ll keep using it even when I have a fancy camera. Also I think your approach to editing makes a lot of sense — it all depends on what you’re trying to do with your work; sometimes it’s more appropriate if not downright desirable.
      Anyway, thanks so much for the kind words!

      • Don’t know how you have time for it all – but God bless!
        Even when I don’t have time to comment on your work
        please know that I smile when I get the emails.
        Fabulous, brilliant work – captured and presented well.
        Take care.

  1. Well worth the early wake-up. You got some nice shots. Quality of the light in the early morning is just something else.

  2. Some really great shots … especially love the partially submerged frozen tree branches. Also enjoyed the Neil Young … always have time for a little Neil Young. Thanks.

  3. Pingback: Additional woodland adventures « Sarah takes pictures.

  4. Pingback: February 22nd: a spring-y interlude before some more winter « Sarah takes pictures.

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