After enduring 63 days of below zero temperatures this winter, it appears that spring might actually arrive in Minnesota. This past week, my family and I ventured to Florida to escape winter's death grip for a week. On our last day, the temperature in Orlando dipped to 56 degrees during the day, and mid-forties at night. I took this as a sign that we belonged at home. Today, we hit 40 degrees in Minnesota for the first time in at least 3 1/2 months. Only a 16 degree difference from Friday in Florida. However, the snow is still here. Ironically, the day that I photographed our family pictures for this year's Christmas card was the last day without snow in Minnesota. It snowed the next day, and we haven't had a single day of melting since.
I suppose Florida would have offered tremendous vistas for photography, but I opted not to bring the big camera and all the gear with me. I stuck to the simple (albeit not cheap) Sony point and shoot for our trip. I did not focus on photography. However, today, it was impossible to stay inside. I took a camera with me on today's walk. I generally do not like to shoot mid-day because the lighting conditions are usually not that optimal for stunning photographs and I don't consider myself a great landscape photographer anyway. This mid-day walk was a good challenge for me, as I had to really look at my surroundings today to find photo-worthy things. I couldn't rely on dramatic lighting because it was mostly overcast and the sun was high in the sky.
The thing that I noticed as I made my way around the loop was that the snow was actually melting! For the first time since the snow arrived there were puddles and running water! I could actually see the gravel on the road...and occasionally, the ground was soft enough that my boots left a footprint. This melting and the consequential reflections in the standing and running water became my photographic theme of the day. We have a long way to go until we see the green of Florida. Experts are saying that the frost presently extends seven to nine feet underground. However, this week gives us hope for a warmer future!