The snow is finally falling!

All day the snow has been falling off and on.  I’ve had to shovel the walk 3 times, but it felt good to get out and do it.  The morning was spent with Brooke and Dayna, but once Brooke went down for a nap, I drove the short way to Laurelville to do some light hiking and picture taking in the snow.

I packed my Benro Travel Angel tripod and put an ND filter on the front of the 14-42mm.  This exposure was 1/10 second and f/11.

The hike was great, if a bit chilly.  There was no one around and was great to clear my head.  Shortly after I got home, Brooke stirred from her nap and as we were playing in the living room, she snatched up my Canon underwater camera.  Thankfully, it’s shock and drool proof.  I wonder how long until she starts taking better pictures than me?

G3 + Oly 45mm

Just back from vacation in Mexico

What better time to take a trip to a warm Caribbean climate than the dead of winter?  My wife and I both thought the same thing and booked a trip to the Dreams Resort in Puertos Aventura’s in Mexico.  We spent 4 nights relaxing and getting away from it all.  We snorkeled in the ocean, in a cenote and in a cave.  Dayna swam with Dolphins, Sea Lions and Manatee’s.  The resort threw a huge Super Bowl party complete with fake stadium displays, workers dressed as Cheerleaders, Security guards, players and referee’s.  Plenty of food as well.  There were beautiful sights, quiet nights and no work at all.  A fantastic trip.

A Short hike on a warm day

On this fairly warm Sunday, I was once again able to get some free time to go for a hike through Ohiopyle.  The sky was clear, the sun was bright and the trails were mostly empty, which made it all the more peaceful.  We’ve had a good amount of rain in the past week, so the river and falls were flowing more than usual.  The roar of the water could be heard all along the trails.

Yough river right above the main falls. G3 + 14-42mm

I started from the visitor’s center and made my way over to Great Gorge Trail.  This would take me along the river and put me right above Cucumber Fall’s.  It is basically a loop around the Ferncliff Peninsula.  Then I could just pick up 381 and walk back to the main Falls before heading to my car.  Not a very long hike, but one full of good views.  The rocky outcroppings are full of interesting detail and textures, if you look carefully.

Rock wall. G3 + 14-42mm

With all the leaves down and the sun high in the sky, it was tough to find anything very scenic or expansive to photograph.  The lighting was awful and the color wasn’t much better.  This harsh lighting did give me a change to really push a raw file and “HDR” it to see what I could get out of it.  I am pleasantly surprised with this.

Cliff side. G3 + 14-42mm

Of course, a trip to Ohiopyle isn’t complete without at least one picture of Cucumber Falls.  I love this waterfall because every time I’ve been there, it’s been different.

Cucumber Falls. G3 + 14-42mm

Further on down the trail in the shade, some puddles were still iced over.  The ice was closer to melting, which gave it a nice sheen and texture.

G3 + 14-42mm
G3 + 14-42mm

After this, it was time to walk back to the car.  The hike only lasted for an hour and half, but it was a perfect time to reflect on things and forget about all the struggles we face daily.  I need to do it more often.

Where is the snow?

I realize that asking this question is bound to bring on an apocalyptic snowstorm, but it’s something I’m missing.  I’d like to go out and hike in the snow, maybe some biking and of course some picture taking.  I want like 3 feet of shut down everything snow.  Since this doesn’t seem as if it’s going to happen, I just had to go back through my archives and dig up some images of the last big snowstorm.  So here they are.  These were are all taken in and around Ohiopyle a day after a snowstorm dumped multiple feet of snow on top of even more snow back in February 2010.

Getting down to Cucumber Falls meant that we had to scale a 4 foot high wall of snow and then trudge through 3 feet snow that no one has been through yet.  Fun times!

There were some massive icicles hanging off of the walls.  Not something to be walking under.

The falls were mostly frozen over, but some water was coming down.

Here is how we had to get back to the road.

I guess I’ll have to wait a big longer for the snow.  All I see in the forecast is rain and gloom.


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