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When we woke up it was much colder our ant everything was covered with frost. We decided to drive down to the Red Cedar State Trail to do some skiing. We had 8 inches of snow the previous day so we were looking forward to a good ski. When we arrived at the Irvington Trail Head we found the trail had not been groomed. We decided to head south on the trail because there is usually some great frost along the river. We weren’t disappointed.

The foliage along the trail had a think coating of frost.

My wife encouraging me to hurry up with the picture taking because it was cold out.

We had to break trail most of the way. Someone had been skate skiing in the deep snow. That must have been a workout.

On the way back the sun came out.

A little wind and it was snowing frost.


When we woke up in Colorado Springs it was fogy out and the trees were covered in frost. We had planned on driving out to the Garden of the Gods and when we arrived we encountered an incredible sight. All of the trees were covered in a thick coating of frost. This was one of those cases where luck brought us to the right location at the right time. We spent the morning hiking the trails and taking photos. More photos from this spectacular morning can be found on my website.



Another frosty morning on the Prairie. More frost photos can be found on my website.

With not enough snow for cross country skiing we decided to drive over to the Bjornson Education-Recreation Center for a hike on a cold day. Bjornson has a number of spring fed streams flowing through it. Watercress usually can be found growing on the streams. If it is cold out the watercress will be covered with frost flowers.


It was a dull day with not a lot to photograph but there were a few weeds sticking up out of the snow that made for an interesting pattern.


Further along on the trail we crossed a bridge covered in snow.



It was a -10 degree day and there is no place better to be than Bjornson Education-Recreation Center to photographing frost. A small spring flows out from the hillside creating ideal conditions to create frost. On this particular day we had strong winds (wind chill -35) so there wasn’t as much frost as there would normally be on a cold day. In terms of photography it is better to have less frost because the frost has better definition  Too much frost and it starts to look like snow. The bright green of the watercress makes a good background.





It has definitely been a bummer of a winter. It all started with the Christmas snowfall which turned into rain and left a mess on the ground. It buried most of the dried flowers under snow and ice making it difficult to photograph them. It also wrecked my ski trails.

Northern Cardinal

One of my favorite winter photography subjects are birds during a snowfall. Unfortunately most of the early snowfalls were more rain than snow. When it did snow it was usually at night when I couldn’t do photography. In addition, I’ve had a hawk hanging around which caused the Northern Cardinals to show up early in the morning and late in the afternoon when the light levels were low. I also didn’t have much in a variety of birds this year.

Apostle Islands Ice Caves

My favorite winter photography subject is the Apostle Islands Ice Caves. Unfortunately they didn’t open this year for the first time in a number of years. It looked like they were close to opening in mid February when the ice pack was just about frozen solid. A strong wind came up and the ice pack broke up and was pushed out into the lake. As a result there was no access to the Ice Caves This year.

Swedetown Ski Trails

About this time we were scheduled to head to the UP of Michigan and the Minnesota North Shore for some cross country skiing and photography when my wife fell on a gentle ski slope and tore up her MCL. That ended any travel for the rest of the winter and probably well into the spring.

On the positive side it’s been a great year for photographing hoary frost. It started in the fall when I encountered heavy frost on the plains east of town and at Hoffman Hills Recreation area. As the winter advanced I continued to find frost along the Red Cedar State Trail usually on very cold mornings. I also found frost during several trips to Willow River State Park.

Frost Covered Milkweed



Bjornson Education-Recreation Center is a 400 acre forest located west of Menomonie, Wisconsin and run by the Menomonie School District. Every year thousands of children visit the center. It is also open to the public for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing bird watching etc. Although it is not one of my favorite winter photography locations I do like to visit when the temperature gets below zero. There are a number of springs feeding streams on the property. The largest spring has a good flow rate and comes out the base of a hill. Since water temperature is warm and the air temperature is very cold the result is steam and lots of frost on everything along the stream including branches, rocks, leaves, watercress etc. The frost and the rising steam is what I like to photograph.  I typically use my 28-300mm lens and my macro lens when photographing at Bjornson. It is sometimes hard to capture the frost because it is frequently very close to the water so any disturbance of the water results in the destruction of the frost.


Frost and Watercress


Morning mist

Additional photos and directions to Bjornson Education-Recreation Center can be found on my website.