Winter Dunes

The Philly area has been hit with some rare weather the past few weeks, culminating with a prolonged period of temperatures in the teens 1 and a Winter Nor’easter. We’re used to these storms on the East Coast, with their strong winds and abundant precipitation. It’s just that the abundant precipitation is typically rain. This time it was snow, of which the shore got the brunt.

The air was so cold, however, as the snow fell it looked more like grains of sand than the larger flakes with which we are more familiar. The wind blew these grains of ice into compact drifts, which made for an interesting experience shoveling 2.

This unusual snow led to some interesting photographs after the storm cleared out. The intense shadows caused by the low Sunlight, combined with the continued wind and unabating cold, gave an unusual look to the ground’s Winter blanket. It looked more like dense sand than snow, and the black and white photo below demonstrates this. It could have been taken in a sandy spot down the shore, where some water had evaporated and created some pockets of loose sandstone waiting to be trampled by happy beach-goers. If I had spread out a beach blanket and set a chair next to it this photo would look more like a Summer photo than a winter one. Pretty amazing.

Cold Temperatures and snow make for a sand-like blanket on the winter ground.
Panasonic G7 with 25mm lens • ƒ/8.0 • ISO 200 • 1/1000 sec

  1. Yes, Jamison. That’s cold. 
  2. Four inches of snow is not supposed to be that heavy. 
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