Sunday, December 27, 2009

White Christmas

Snow is somewhat rare in Arkansas, especially around Little Rock. I used to get so annoyed when I was younger and snow storms would blow across the state, giving other kids a few days off from school. I don't know what it is about Little Rock, be it the lower elevation or the trapped residual heat stored up in concrete, but it seemed like most snow storms would drift around the city. It was a pain to sit and watch the news in the morning while seemingly every school district in the state was closed, but us poor city kids would have to go in.

But snow on Christmas is even rarer than that. I can think of only a few times that we've had a white Christmas. The most notable was 2000, the year a massive ice storm hit the state on Christmas Day. I was visiting relatives in Charleston that day, and my parents and brother decided to leave early in the hopes of beating the storm back to Little Rock. It didn't quite work out, as inches of freezing rain piled on the cars and made the interstate a complete mess. Accidents on all the freeways in Little Rock closed access to the city, all the bridges over the river were closed due to wrecks. It usually takes two and a half hours to make that drive. In 2000, it took us 13 hours to get home.

But this year, another winter storm hit the state. And per tradition, it didn't do anything in Little Rock besides just rain a lot. But the western and northern parts of the state saw some accumulation. Luckily, I was again in Charleston where about two inches of snow fell. I woke up on Christmas Day and went out in the below-freezing weather to get this shot of the new car in its first snow.

It was sunny, so most of the snow started to melt. Which is good since it didn't make traveling too difficult for people. The only delay in my drive home would be from stopping to take pictures along the way. I wanted to get some good pictures of the snow, and decided to make a quick stop at Longpool, which isn't too far from the freeway at Russellville. But I had left Charleston a bit too late on Saturday, and was quickly running out of time and daylight. I got into Longpool at 4:30, which meant that I would have just about 30-45 minutes of light to get any sort of pictures.

The waterfall at Longpool is just a short hike away. I knew I wouldn't have enough light to see the waterfall, but if I hurried I might be able to get a picture of the small waterfall that sits along the way to the falls. I parked the car, grabbed the camera gear and tripod and began to run along the snowy trail. I am very out-of-shape now (need to do more hiking), so my poor heart was thundering as I made it to the falls. I was thrilled to see plenty of water in the falls, and a nice covering of snow that lingered on the hills. But I realized that I managed to forget the mount that connects the camera to the tripod - it was sitting innocently back in the car. So I had to make do without, trying to balance the camera precariously on the top of the tripod...

I don't think I've seen these falls with this much water flowing through. Which was awesome, except that I only had about 15 minutes of light left. I wish I had time to have gone up to see the main waterfall, which would have been surrounded by icicles. Oh well...

I got back to the car before it got too dark, and continued on towards home. I even made it back in time to unwrap a few more Christmas presents.


Windy Richardson said...

Cool shots Brian! I remember that ice storm in 2000. I've left my tripod release head at home and such a lot. It's the one thing I'm most likely to forget, because I usually just leave it attached to the camera. I forgot it one time before Tillie, Ward, and I were going to light paint. It forced us to go back and get it.

Windy Richardson said...

At Longpool did you have any creeper guys shouting "hey baby" at you like I did? LOL

John Blakney said...

Good to see a post without any battery complaints.

Zack Andrews said...

Brian, cool stuff my friend. I really like the traditional "Brian Cormack Road" shot.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Great New Years!