Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alien Ice - Cleveland Deep Freeze

© Stuart Pearl 2010 (Click Image to Enlarge)

I was just a few miles from downtown Cleveland.. And yet the landscape resembled a frozen moon. Bizarre shapes surrounded me in the 15 degree weather as I slowly hiked across the icy boulder field.

It had been at least 10 years since I'd last visited Cleveland's Edgewater Park Beach. Back then it was sunny and 85 degrees. Surf sprayed across the rocky beach as I strolled in shorts and shirtsleeves back then.

Today I wore a flannel shirt, fleece vest, parka, hat, hood and earmuffs. The cameras were not so well protected and the batteries died after 90 minutes.

A thin coat of bright powder covered uneven ice and it was difficult to find a safe pathway. The setting sun glared off trunk shaped icicles and caused deep shadows between the shoreline boulders.

Some of the structures resembled sea anemones, pointing skyward, in search of aerial plankton.

The odd thing was the twisted nature of these lakeshore stalagtites. In Early January while the lake was cold but still unfrozen, the high winds must have whipped the surf spray at an angle across the trees and shrubs. Ice then formed as the wind-driven droplets twisted around branches and trunks causing the extraordinary patterns.

Other structures resembled spiked leviathans foraging across the boulder strewn landscape.

With Lake Erie to the north, a few lone shrubs still manage to rise from the snow and ice.

Although the landscape fascinated me in the warm, late afternoon light, I was curious how it would appear under cooler, early morning illumination.

Returning two days later at 7:15, I encountered a bleak overcast sky with just the faintest morning glow. The quality of the light was completely different from Saturday's high contrast sun, with an emphasis now on the blue part of the spectrum.

You can see an enlarged slide show of these images by clicking HERE.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Buck Stops Here

© Stuart Pearl 2010

And a number of his friends often join him. Sometimes we'll have as many as eight deer grazing our myrtle beds, hosta plants, and other shrubbery. And during the warmer months they do this seeminlgy oblivious to the racket of yard equipment and neighborhood traffic. Who needs hamsters?

Our lot is bordered by a small wood to the east. To the back are 850' deep properties. This provides some degree of cover and safety for the adult deer. They and their young will often visit for a while, dining on our ornamentals during the summer, or digging in the winter snow for any greenery.

Our property is situated between two local park systems. To the West we have the Euclid Creek Metropark and off to the East is the North Chagrin Reservation.

Some feel the deer travel between the two parks depending upon food supply and the pressures from human activity. Either way we have daily sightings. We've actually see more wildlife in our backyard than we have during our visits to the Adirondack, Shenandoah and Smoky Mountains.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thank You!

© Stuart Pearl 2010

Fundraisers remind my of my high school PTA days, the time I spent as a Band Parent, and my years in the Jaycees. Projects are very gratifiying when they generate profit for a good cause.

This is the second year that the Cleveland Sight Center has been kind enough to use one of my photographs for their Holiday card sale. I want to thank everybody who purchased any of the cards that were offered this year. They earn revenue for critical projects, and I get some greeting cards.

Although sales were down slightly from last year, "Arch Reflections" was the top seller for 2009. Of 55,242 cards sold, it accounted for 12,582 of total sales.