Tuesday, March 31

The Latest Aftermath

This photo was taken in early March, after an ice storm, a few blocks from my house. It covered the plant life in a frosty white...very pretty, and very numbing to bare fingers.

The snow has stopped, the sun is out, and this is what it looks like out the front door today. That's some crazy snow build-up hanging over the porch awning. Good friend and neighbor George came by yesterday to shovel our drive in the afternoon w/ his 4-wheeler/plow, and we've got well over a foot more snow that's drifted in front of the garage since then. More snow is predicted for Sat. Ruben, a fire captain, is stuck at work 25 miles away; I-90 is still closed but should open later today. He's been there since Sun. evening. Are we having fun yet?!

Worst of all, I have to reschedule my hair appt.

Monday, March 30

Is it Spring Yet?!

Creating one's blog during a winter blizzard...the third one of the season...is as good a time as any, right?! This is definitely the hardest winter I've experienced in my five years of midwest living.

It's amazing what you can discover out of sheer desperation...there is plenty of scenery to photograph in the winter in the Black Hills area, something I've begun doing this year (my third yr. of photography) to beat back the cabin fever!

My good friend and partner-in-crime, fellow outdoor photography enthusiast Jayne H., a native S. Dakotan, spent last summer joining me on weekly outdoor "field trips" as I like to call them. She has also joined me on several outings this winter as we await, oh so anxiously, the arrival of the 2009 wildflower season. And a world of green, green, green!

Yesterday, Jayne and I took a ride to the Badlands (photo above), an hour's drive east, via country hwy. 44, taking photos along the way and through-out the western half of the park's main road. We knew we needed to get out and "shoot" something before the impending blizzard hit, forecasted for that (Sun.) night starting at 6 pm.

Even a drive through a quiet, mostly deserted Nat'l park (in western S. Dakota's most wintery month) can provide some comic relief; an uplifting, added bonus to our weekly drives. Even if I'd thought to take a photo of the look on Jayne's face as she attempted entering an outhouse at one of the look-out points, I couldn't have captured the essence of her body language as her brain processed what she had come face-to-face with inside the, uh, facility. Being an avid fan of several of the CSI TV shows -- as I watched her open the door, peer tentatively into the small space, almost step inside, pause, think about it, and then just stand there stumped -- I wondered, what IS it, a dead body? Ok, reality check...A rattlesnake? Turns out a snow drift from the previous blizzard (just a week ago!) had accumulated inside the outhouse, covering the toilet over completely! Fortunately, there was another facility next to the first one that was useable, with only packed snow on the ground, well below the toilet seat. It's a good thing, cause she wasn't the only one who really needed to make use of the premises. And honestly, I don't think my windshield ice scraper would've made a very good shovel for digging out the first toilet.