Deep Freeze

Winter went into overdrive around here a couple of weeks ago. We live in the high mountains of western North Carolina so, even though we live in the south, we’re used to cold winters. It’s not unusual for temperatures to drop into the single digits or into negative territory. We experienced a frigid -32° one year—and, no, that wasn’t the wind chill factor. Almost always, though, those cold spells are short and interspersed with warmer temps.

This time was a little different. The -5° to +5° days lasted far longer than usual. Long enough for mountain waterfalls to transform themselves into a paradise for ice climbers. (Tip: don’t try this at home, kids!) The damp seeping between rock-lined roadsides turned into massive icicle displays, and our fast-moving mountain streams and rivers froze solid. Nothing out of the ordinary for some parts of the globe, I know, but around here it was unusual enough for the Gnome and me to decide that, in spite of the cold, we wanted to get out there and see some solid water, camera in hand.

It was late afternoon when we left home so we didn’t get to check out as many streams as we’d hoped. Besides, we quickly got sidetracked. Still, it was a fun adventure and we did manage to get a few photos. It finally warmed up some and, with a few exceptions, most of our daylight hours have been above freezing for a while now. Colder weather will return soon enough. Who knows what photo ops we’ll find then. In the meantime, here are a few of the scenes we captured on our field trip.

 

We had to stop the car when we came upon this sight. If you look closely you’ll see a small stream of water shooting out of the icy sculpture created by the fountain (right). The high winds of a few days before had blown the water to the left to create another sculpture. Cool!

Rocky roadside cliffs have turned into giant icicle displays everywhere you turn.

We never pass up an opportunity to observe and photograph deer.

The trees obscure this scene, but we kept coming upon mountainsides covered in ice from peak to base where water had oozed from rock seams to create what looks like frozen waterfalls.

 

 

This great blue heron was clearly frustrated in its search for food on the frozen river. 

rsz_heron_wings_2

We’re not used to seeing dogs walk on top of rivers.

No ice here, but we can never resist the sight of old, abandoned houses. When we saw this one on a distant hillside, we were forced to take a detour. 

 

7 thoughts on “Deep Freeze

  1. I love those old buildings and the stories they tell! It looks mighty cold there! Here is Colorado the ski slopes have fake snow but it has been so cold that the lake froze solid which is unusual for our area. Mother Nature is a little funny this year!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed She is–I expect more of the same. We can never pass up an old house like this. We always imagine that in another life, one where we had time, money, and lots more energy, we’d buy up everyone we come across and give it a new lease on life. Such a shame to see them falling apart, even though sometimes the cost of a renovation would be too prohibitive to make sense. Nice dream, though.

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  2. Wonderful photos! It was a cold 7 degrees in town this morning. ASU cancelled all classes that started prior to 11:00 a.m. My neighbor, who had hip surgery in December, had an 11:00 class. I drove her to campus so she would not have to walk from a snowy/icy parking lot, and then across a not-very-well-cleared street, to get to the building where she teaches. She, and her new hip, were delivered safely to the door of her building (after my not-so-skillful backing up on a long, wide sidewalk while receiving guidance/direction from a student passerby).

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  3. Omg even the thought of -32 makes me want to crawl under my blanket and never get out. That’s crazy. I hate when it’s really cold. I’ve lived in NY my whole life so I’ve always dealt with cold winters but I always seem to get amazed at how cold it gets. I can never get used to it. But I do love a frozen waterfall. It’s soooo pretty!

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