It’s Christmas Day and there is Snow!

Today’s post is 1200 words, 22 photos, a 6 minute read. Enjoy!

Hi everyone,

Today is Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. May you enjoy the happiness and delight of the season.

Here in the upper Midwest, we have snow (3-4 inches/7-10 cm) with more on the way. And the temperatures are cold with a high of 14°F/low of 5°F or 10°/-15°C. It’s something we are used to this time of year. While some folks escape to the warmer climes in Florida or Arizona, we’ve decided to spent the winter right here in Wisconsin.

With this in mind, this week I’m sharing photos and stories of winter photos I’ve taken over the years. When I looked through my archives, I realized I have taken a lot during the winter season. So let’s get started.

Door County, Wisconsin

My regular readers know that I’ve taken a few thousand photos in Door County. For the past several years, we’ve made at least two outings a year to beautiful Door County and even a couple in the winter. It’s actually quite peaceful and pleasant during the winter season. There’s less traffic and hardly any crowds at the most popular places. On the down side, some of the restaurants and locally owned shops are closed for 3-5 months during the coldest part of the year. We are planning another winter trip in January or February.

I’ll begin with a little humor. I couldn’t help but take this photo of the sign sticking above the snow and ice on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It was a gray, overcast day but the sign says it all.

Nearby is the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse. In the winter, the red light stands out against the lighter snow, ice and the open water of Lake Michigan.

At Cave Point County Park, wind and waves coat the trees near the shoreline with a layer of ice. It’s one of my favorite times to take photos at Cave Point, few people and great scenes. Warning – Don’t try this without proper footwear.

Believe it or not, this decor occupied an open field near the tip of the Door peninsula near the turn off to Newport State Park. I spotted it from the highway and made good use of my telephoto lens. I asked around at the local shops, apparently the owner of the property has been doing this for years. Since this photo was taken, a home has been built in the open space. It’s not the same.

Here’s the “squiggly” road between Gills Rock and Northport at the tip of the Door. I’ve shot this scene in all seasons, I think I like this one the best. It’s easy to see the long, wavy stretch of road.

This is Horseshoe Island in the Bay of Green Bay as viewed from Peninsula State Park. While it looks like paths out to the island, it’s really pressure ridges/cracks. I would be very hesitant to walk onto to this ice. In other words, we’d all be on thin ice!

Here’s the Hardy Gallery on Anderson Dock. It’s closed but still attracts visitors in the winter.

I took this photo a number of years ago along Highway 42 between Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay. I liked the old red truck peeking out of the weathered barn. A few years ago, the truck disappeared while the barn still stands. I look for the truck every time I drive by, the barn looks so empty without the truck.

To learn more about things to do in the winter in Door County, click here. I highly recommend a visit in the off season.

North Dakota

My home state of North Dakota is known for its cool, snowy winters. Even though we moved to Wisconsin in 1987, we return to North Dakota often to visit family and friends. I’d say the winters are much milder in Wisconsin, we don’t have those Alberta Clippers that come out of the Arctic, first dump snow, then bring cold winds out of the northwest plunging the wind chill to -40°F (-40°C). But some winter days in North Dakota can be quite pleasant, when the wind isn’t blowing.

Here’s an early morning sunrise photo of Hungry Man Butte near where my Traveling Partner grew up.

The old Grassy Butte Post Office (now a historical site noted for it pioneer architecture) is closed for the winter. Built in 1914, it’s made of log and mud plaster, similar to the construction of area homes during settlement.

In the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the bison graze on the short prairie grass on the open plateaus where the wind carries the snow away.

In this photo. the bison bull is plowing snow to reach forage. Please note that this photo was taken with a telephoto lens at a safe distance.

When I was hiking one of the trails in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I saw this bunny come out of its hidey hole to sun itself. It sat there long enough for me to take its photo. When I came back it was gone.

This photo was taken in the Little Missouri National Grassland. The windmill resting for the winter as there were no livestock on this grazing claim. Ranchers move cattle in the late fall to areas where shelter is available and the animals are easier to feed.

This next series of photos were taken near where I grew up in west central North Dakota. Below is the Garrison Dam built on the Missouri River in the early 1950s for flood control, electrical generation, and recreation. The Dam created Lake Sakakawea, the largest man-made lake in North Dakota with 1320 miles of shoreline. The Tailrace doesn’t freeze over as there is always water flowing through the tunnels that generate electricity. This warm water gives off steam as it flows into the Missouri River about a half mile down stream.

An old dump rake, half buried in snow, rusting away along a fence line

This is one of my favorite photos taken in the winter in North Dakota. Here the snow is piled up along the fence line. The steam in the background comes from the freezing process taking place on Lake Sakakawea about three miles north of this location.

Nearby, the stark winter landscape is lit by the sun rays peeking through the clouds. 

I took this photo on a snowy, blustery day. My great-grandparents are buried in this cemetery. I love the starkness and contrast of the sign and cross against the near white-out conditions.

For more winter fun in North Dakota, click here.

Washington, DC

I’ll end this post with a few photos from an early March visit years ago to Washington, DC. A freak storm dumped about 5 inches of snow in the area. The city nearly came to a standstill. They don’t have much in the way of snow removal equipment. If they get snow, it usually is gone within a day or two. In the top photo, the Washington Monument as taken from the Capitol.  

Here are some National Park Service employees moving snow and ice on the walkway below the Capitol.

This is a late afternoon photo of the Jefferson Memorial with the sun shining through the pillars. 

To see all the photos and stories from this trip to Washington, DC, click here.

While I have many more winter and snow photos, I’ll share those in another blog post down the road. Take care, be safe, and watch out for the reindeer!

Until next week, happy travels!


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