As of today, the average temperature for this month (February) is 12.4 degrees F here in the Rochester area. Which makes it the coldest February on record. And it isn’t going to get much warmer anytime soon. Maybe by mid-March? Who knows. This is the first winter I can remember (and I’ve seen a few) where we haven’t had any kind of significant February thaw. If it’s outside, it is, by definition, frozen. Even Lake Ontario is in danger of becoming ice covered. That hasn’t happened in a very long time. Maybe you’ve seen pictures of a nearly frozen Niagara Falls on the news. That’s less unusual, but still draws a lot of attention.
Our only recent “warm-up” was this past Sunday – it got all the way “up” to the low thirties. So, like a lot of other people, I ventured down to the lake just to get out of the house, and to take pictures of the ice. I also wanted to play with my new Olympus 40 – 150 mm f/2.8 lens (in full-frame terms, that’s 80 – 300 mm).
After trucking through some pretty deep snow I finally made it to the Webster Park pier. Not surprisingly, lots and lots of ice. All I needed (photographically) was a little color. Otherwise all I’d have was blue and white. Boring. The guy on the left showed up first. Still, not much color. Then came the woman in the yellow jacket, followed shortly afterward by the woman in the dark blue coat. So now I had color. I didn’t want to be greedy, but I needed some positional balance. I think a couple of them must have read my mind (not hard to do, I guess, if your brain is already partially frozen). The guy moved to the left and struck a nice pose looking up at the navigational light. The yellow jacket was already in the middle – she just needed to stay there. And then, wonder of wonders, the blue jacket moved over to the right. Then, amazingly, the two women also looked up at the light.
Not really a masterpiece, but if you’ve been dealing with this much cabin fever, it’ll do.
And the lens? I really like it. It’s incredibly well built and it focuses very, very fast. In manual, it’s a joy to use. It has a minimum focusing distance of about 27 inches so it’s capable, I think, of being used as a kind of macro lens. I was able to get some very sharp close-ups of some interesting ice formations on and around the pier with it.
Sadly, our “thaw” is over. We’re back in our regular deep freeze mode. For most of February, by the way, Anchorage, Alaska was warmer than Webster, NY. Honest.