Yesterday was the first day Spring, also known in Alaska as our “Shoulder Season,” and the “Run up to Summer.” Although we still have a 5-foot tall snow berm between our yard and the street, the sun is now setting past 8:00PM here in Anchorage.
I looked out the window the other night at 9:00PM and it wasn’t even pitch black yet. By mid April, it will be light past 10:00PM as we hurtle toward the solstice. We’ve just passed the 12-hour mark for day length and are currently racing at peak speed, gaining 5 minutes and 44 seconds of daylight each day.
While I certainly look forward to warmer temperatures, increasing sunlight, dry trails and switching bikes for the season, I can’t help but look back with great fondness for the Fabulous Winter of 2017.
After three icy, lackluster winters, we finally got the goods. Numerous snowfalls brought much enthusiasm from Anchorage residents, who flocked out on the snow covered trails and into the mountains with boards and bikes and played with smiles on their faces and frost that built up on their their beards and eyelashes.
In early January, we were treated to an astounding weather pattern that left a triple layer of snow, hoar frost and rime ice all layered up together. Every surface and every tree branch looked like it was covered with a thick cover of buttery frosting.
Combined with the low sun angle and our 3:00PM sunsets, the early afternoon light was simply magical. It was the kind of light that outdoor photographers dream of, although it took considerable effort and commitment to actually go out and shoot, given the sub-zero temps we had for most of the month.
Cold or not, it was well worth the effort. I spent many afternoons riding with my X-T2 slung around neck and shooting winter landscape and winter fat biking photos in gorgeous light. I even did a couple of overnight fat bike camping trips, which allowed an even wider range of experiences and photo opportunities. And yes, I can confirm that the X-T2 works just fine in the cold.
And then there are the numerous aerial photography flights I did this past season. Flying in the wintertime in Alaska is challenging. Burdensome. And very cold.
At least that’s how I described it in my extended photo essay which appears in the current issue of Fuji X Passion Magazine’s beautifully printed journal.
Although I’ve been excited about my aerials every year, I’ll never forget the day I shot this photo below, when the light was more pink than I ever remember.
By the way, this is a straight JPEG with absolutely nor processing or tweaking.
I’m extremely excited about the photos I shot this past season. I’m also excited that I finally got caught up on tons of backlogged work projects, including a massive photo editing and keywording blitz.
I even updated my main website with new galleries and open a brand new Print Shop web store where you can purchase reproductions of some of my favorite images as custom prints and cards.
So yes, while I’m definitely excited to launch into Spring and all of the great things that lie ahea, I can’t help but look back with great memories at the memories and images I created during the past few months. I’m really going to miss this one.
Consider this my very fond farewell to the wonderful winter of 2017.
Hoar frost and rime ice on the trees in Anchorage, Alaska.