Thursday, January 9, 2014

Passing in the Night

For our second themed photo challenge, H. N. James and I had decided to pursue "Dark Entries": dark, unexpectedly spooky things in our towns. I imagined spotting eerie local sights throughout autumn, particularly around Hallowe'en, but it turned into a rushed season for me.

Dark Entries were going slowly for H.N., too. By the end of November she proposed that we work on our "Passing in the Night" (night time photography) challenge simultaneously. "I've changed my mind about winter being a bad time for it," she wrote. "It's actually a GREAT time for it, because it gets dark earlier, there are lots of lights, and we don't have to stay out so late."

True! I managed some frosty glowing shots within a couple of weeks. You can see the full sized selections in my Flickr set here: Passing in the Night.

There's still a lot I want to try with night time photography, but these are my reasonably timely selections for the challenge.

Nature gave me a lovely gift on the night of my birthday. I'd had some quiet time in my study as my husband monitored the children, and I'd pulled my curtains open to watch the near-full moon as I worked (well, as I gamed). The moon settled behind some windowpane frost accumulation and made a miniature nebula:

December 2013: Moon Window
Photo by Sarah Cloud Peterson

We traveled to my parents' home in Michigan for Christmas week. After eight hours on the road we arrived in their driveway literally the moment freezing rain began to fall. It became a heavy and dangerous ice storm. Tens of thousands were without power through the week, even on Christmas Day, but somehow we kept ours:

December 2013: Ice Lights
Photo by Sarah Cloud Peterson

The icy coatings lasted for days. I wrote to a penfriend on Christmas Eve, "The trees sway just a bit in the wind, and their branches crack and shatter and bomb the crusted snow below. The constant sound when one strolls (living dangerously) outside is of angels above throwing china and smashing wineglasses in the hearth."

But I couldn't resist stepping out to capture the lights and sparkly glow of my folks' festive shrub.

December 2013: Ice Lights 7
Photo by Sarah Cloud Peterson

(That one is much better viewed at a larger scale.)

We've had some extraordinary winter weather here in the Midwestern US. Have you been inspired by unusual weather patterns recently?


  1. What beautiful, mysterious photographs! So glad to have "found" you through Roz's blog as well. Thanks for the lovely comment on my site. I look forward to reading/ seeing more of your posts. And it looks even colder where you are than here... I didn't think that was possible. Wow!

  2. Thank you for coming by, Izzy! I love how your photos are so beautiful, but your baby and husband are still in there from time to time, doing baby and husband things. :-)

  3. These are amazing photos! The frozen branches look like an intricate glass sculpture - and what a beautiful description of their demise to your penfriend!
    We've had storms but nothing as dramatic as your polar vortex! I saw photos of Niagra Falls frozen - unbelievable!

    1. Thank you for taking a look, Ms. V. :-) Much as extreme bad weather causes misery, I do like it when it makes the mundane real world look like art, or something out of a fantasy novel.