I don’t talk about work here I like to keep this space reserved for my artistic endeavors. But some times the line between journalism and art blurs. This morning was one of those moments. In a young almond orchard juts outside of town a farmer left the sprinkler irrigation system on all night. Temperatures dipped well below freezing resulting in a field of ice covering the trees.
I wasn’t the only one with a camera when I arrived at the frozen orchard. Cars were lining the road shoulder as drivers hooped out of their cars to snap quick camera phone pictures of the icy field. A thin layer of ice coated the mud while two to three-foot-long icicles dangled from the tree branches and string lines holding the trees in place. From a distance , when I was driving to the orchard, you could see the ice glow brightly in the morning sun. The orchard stretched for a few hundred feet along the roadway and I had a quite the choice of icicle formations to photograph.
The last time I photographed ice were frozen footprints in the mud during a chilly January hike along the slopes of Mount Diablo. The orchard freeze had left the most intriguing pattern of icicles down the rows. I shot mostly with 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom,as I couldn’t get too close with the sprinkler system still turned on. I did time it right and as the sprinkler pattern swept past I moved in for close for a few ground level shots with a 10-22mm wide-angle lens.
Shooting into the low morning sun illuminated the thick icicles showing their translucence. The frozen ground shimmered in the morning sunlight as well making for a surreal scene just of the road.
I can’t ever remember seeing such a mass of ice in town before and most likely I won’t see it again. It made for some truly beautiful and stark images that are know are fleeting as those sights will melt away in the warmth of the day.