Posts Tagged: winter

Wintry crossing

Came across this old footbridge in Caesar Creek State Park while we were there for the Maple Syrup weekend recently. It sure has seen better days and is currently closed off to traffic. Another harsh winter like this year’s and it will probably collapse into the creek below.

Red-tailed hawk

While visiting Caesar Creek State Park for the Maple Syrup weekend, spotted this Red-tailed hawk feasting on a raccoon by the side of the road as we left the park. Not too pleased with my interrupting the meal, it flew off into a nearby tree where another hawk was sitting. Not wanting to become dessert, snapped a few shots and got back in the car to leave them to their lunch. The Red-tailed Hawk has significance in Native American culture. Its feathers are considered sacred by some tribes, and are used in religious ceremonies. It is commonly known as the “chickenhawk,” though it rarely preys on chickens.

The science of icicles

When droplets of melted snow drip down an icicle, they release small amounts of heat as they freeze. Heated air travels upwards and helps slow down the growth of the icicle’s top, while the tip is growing rapidly. Icicles can be dangerous and deadly, yet they can create some of the most amazing winter scenes. And for scientists, those winter scenes are playgrounds for discovery. We all know icicles form when melting snow begins dripping down a surface. But what scientists didn’t know is how their shape is formed. What makes each icicle different?

Icicles have a certain mathematical shape, and this mathematical shape is universal among icicles. So what is the math behind an icicle? The height is proportional to the radius to the four-thirds. What does the formula have to do with an icicle’s shape? It kind of looks like a carrot, it starts out flat and then goes up as you go.

As water drips onto an icicle and freezes, it releases heat. The warm air rises up the sides of the icicle. That warm air layer acts like a blanket that’s an insulator, and so the blanket is very thin near the tip and thick at the top. That allows the top to grow very slowly and the tip to grow rapidly — creating a long, thin icicle.

Winter Robin

Another extreme cold wintry day in Ohio. It is not unusual to see the American Robin stay throughout the Winter these days. Although, after this Winter season, more may make the decision to fly South next year. Shot handheld with the Tamron 500mm lens in 2007.

Cold sunrise

Isabella woke up early this morning, which means I woke up early. The only benefit was that it was early enough to catch this beautiful sunrise out our back door. Weather is still very cold in the morning, so just a quick pop outside to shoot some photos and then back in to have breakfast. On a side note, I am now using WordPress for the photoblog. This will allow me more flexibility in doing more with it than using the old PixelPost software.

Wooly Isabella

Using wooly worms (Pyrrharctia isabella) to predict Winter is old American folklore that traces its history back to early Americana. Supposedly, Native Americans taught the pioneers to read wooly worms to predict Winter weather. Wooly worm is the common name for the larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth. They are also called wooly bears.

Wooly worm forecasters say that the size of the brown band of color will tell you what kind of Winter is coming. Legend says that the thinner the brownish red bands, the harsher the Winter will be. If the wooly worm is mostly brownish red in the middle, Winter will be mild.

Based on the wooly worm above, I am predicting a mild to normal snowfall this Winter. And no, I did not name my daughter after this wooly worm!