When extremely cold temperatures combine with the open water of Lake Michigan, it creates a foggy atmosphere. Take a calm morning – with no hint of a breeze – and mix the misty moisture in the air with those extremely cold temperatures and it will freeze to practically everything as a thick, but fluffy, frost. Wonderful stuff.
In the background, of course, is the well-known Kewaunee, Wisconsin pier and lighthouse.
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The ice in the harbor was thick enough to make getting out a challenge and it took quite a while for the boat to break through. It would push and crunch its way into the ice, traveling 20 or 30 feet at a time before it would be halted. Then it would back up and take another run at it…for the next 20 or 30 feet…back up and repeat until it finally got to open water. This shot shows it clear of the solid ice, heading out of the harbor. I’ve included a short video of the struggle below.
The Oliver H. Smith, is a commercial fishing boat built in 1944 at Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. during World War II. It was purchased in 1999 and is operated by Lafond’s Fish Market in Kewaunee.
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This was one of the last images I snapped on a very cold (below zero) morning of shooting. I’d been out there a lot longer than I would have thought – about an hour and forty-five minutes – but I found plenty to point my camera at. I was the only one braving the elements that morning. All of the footprints you see in the snow were made by me.
I had decided to call it a morning, was dismantling my equipment, folding my tripod and packing up to head home. I looked back over my shoulder and noticed the shadows from the tree and it drew me back for a few more minutes.
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This is another shot from a very cold morning in Kewaunee, WI. The open waters of Lake Michigan created enough moisture that everything along the shore was coated with a light, fluffy frost. This branch is a prime example.
If you look closely, you can see some little white specks (particularly on the right side). Those are little flakes of the frost falling like snow off the branch at the slightest movement of air.
Also, you will notice the Kewaunee lighthouse in the background. If you compare this photo with my previous post, You’ll be able to see this same branch from a very different perspective. Both photos were taken the same morning using different lenses. This one was 45 minutes or so after the other.
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This image accurately portrays the very cold conditions yesterday morning at the Kewaunee, WI harbor. The ice was slowly flowing past the channel marker, out into Lake Michigan. To get this shot, I had to walk out on the long, ice-coated pier to the lighthouse.
Rising early and enduring the cold (temperature around zero) produced some worthwhile “winter” scenes like this…with more to come. Stay tuned.
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When air temperatures are below freezing, the slightly warmer Lake Michigan waters can create a mist around areas that haven’t frozen over. The early sun highlights the mist around the harbor and lighthouse of Algoma, WI.
Last February I posted another, very similar, view of this morning scene entitled, Frigid Sunrise Fog. This version offers more of the rocks and ice in the foreground.
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Refraction: the fact or phenomenon of light, radio waves, etc., being deflected in passing obliquely through the interface between one medium and another or through a medium of varying density.
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The pier at Algoma was coated with Lake Michigan ice. The red ladder is a safety measure, giving anyone who were to fall off the pier, into the water, a way to climb out. The water of the harbor wasn’t visible, due to the ice buildup.
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It was a cold morning with 13-degrees Fahrenheit and patches of fog in our rural neighborhood. This was a scene that caught my eye that morning. I tried to sharpen the trees a bit but the fog in the air kept everything soft.
I titled it Sky Iris because the sun in the trees remind me of a pupil and the fog-induced aura, accentuated by the branches, remind me of an eye’s iris.
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