Friday, December 28, 2012

Third Day of Christmas: Snowflakes and Temple Square

Well I went back up to Mill Creek with every intention of taking a good long hike.

The neighbor's gift of own pralines and divinity...and lots of other unrestrained self treating needed some redress if I still would like to fit into some of my dresses, if you get my drift.

I only stopped to take pictures a few times on the way up to the groomed trail area.

(The fact that I had my camera with me should have revealed to me that I really wasn't that serious about hiking actually.)

I admit it: I am a glutton for candy and eye candy.

The temps were in the low 20s; the wet looking roads were thankfully well salted.

This time I didn't have the canyon all to myself.
I didn't mind...and no one seemed to mind me pulling off the road at will to take pictures.
Once I got up to the groomed area I parked and started to get out my snowshoe gear.
But I was distracted.

The car was being covered with amazing snowflakes!

I grabbed my camera again, staying in my snow boots that are not really that warm.

My powder suit wasn't really all that warm either.
It would have been if I had been moving about.
But in this case I was totally focused on standing as still as I possibly could for each camera click.

Using the sports/high speed setting and my regular "kit" lens, I just wedged myself as much as possible and started shooting.

The high speed shooting setting helped with the micro movements I made just clicking the camera.

Most of these flakes are on the edge of my side mirror or along the black trim beneath the windows.

I did prowl around the cars next to my car to see if I could see cool flakes there.
The red car next to mine had a few goodies.

The parking area had been well salted and the snow turned to slush around my feet.

My feet were freezing, and my fingertip-less gloves left my fingertips feeling pretty frozen too.

Suffering for my art...yeah, that's what it was!

If you look closely you can see the etched writing on the lower corner of the side window glass.
Gives some perspective on how tiny these flakes really were. 

It was about 23 degrees about then. How there could have been water droplets I have no idea.
I did notice that breathing near the flakes was a bad idea.
They poofed into nothing if hit by the smallest breath.

Eventually a few flakes hit the windows and stayed frozen long enough for a shot.
Enjoy the next few snowflake shots while immersing your feet in ice water to get the full sensation of being right there with me!

There might of been a few duplicates in those last photos.
Picasa was acting up and I tried to fix the duplicates, then gave up.
Forgive both me and Picasa, OK?

I did finally go snowshoeing, just to keep myself honest with myself.
The snow was piling down from the sky and I got such a kick out of coming across a woman walking about ten dogs all by herself on the trail.

We had a nice chat about how beautiful the area was right now.
She explained that the dogs were not all hers; she was a professional dog walker.
Lucky dogs!

I had left for Mill Creek around three and got home (after a quick trip to the grocery store) around six.
Our neighbor's tree lights were so charming glowing beneath the snow.
A quick bowl of split pea soup that my dil had made and shared, some potato chips and yogurt for dinner and I was out the door again, still in my powder suit and snow boots.
I hadn't even taken off my ski cap to eat!
Temple Square was calling to me!

Downtown in snowfall....bright colorful lights on the streets.

Then there is REALLY bright lights in the Square itself.

Can't remember having so much snow on the valley floor.
Some of the Temple Square lighting designs were buried beneath the snow!

The place was packed.
Babies were bundled up tight with just little noses and wide eyes and pacifiers showing.

Across from the Square is the City Creek shopping center with a covered bridge over the street.

I've taken a carriage tour here before.
It is pretty hairy as the tour goes smack dab through the middle of downtown traffic.

Walking the Square itself is plenty good enough fun.

The shepherds watching the flocks were coming pretty darn close to losing sight of their sheep due to snow cover!

Various languages and cultural images shine from  the glowing bags that line the walkways.

Brrrr...I mean baaa.....

One area has a nativity scene and voice over loud speaker telling the story and playing carols sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Very stirring actually.

The scene's life sized characters, including camel riding wise men, seemed very real.

The statue honoring the Hand Cart Mormon pioneers was almost painfully realistic.
I have read the diaries of the Mormons who trekked from the East coast using just handcarts and were caught in horrible snowstorms on the way.

Temple Square at Christmas is a must see.

Downtown Salt Lake is a must see too.
One street has the University of Utah symbol glowing repeatedly the entire street.

The City-County Building holidays up by switching the lighting up top to red and green.

With the addition of falling snow and low clouds reflecting back all the lights, the building looks quite festive.

The blue trees on the second level make the whole building look both Christmas-y and patriotic at the same time.

I was back home by eight and so ended my Third Day of Christmas adventures.


La Tea Dah said...

The snowflakes are WOW -- stunning! Great shots!

And Temple Square --- is never more beautiful than at Christmas. My family was able to do the Christmas light tour (and hear a Christmas Day taping of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) one year. It was an amazing and beautiful experience.

Vicki said...

Awesome photos, Jill!

ellen b. said...

So so beautiful!

Vee said...

This is going to look as if I just scrolled to the bottom of your post and started yakking, but I was here earlier and took my time...with the iPad. Right and it didn't let me comment...froze up...okay. I'm tenacious I'd return and here I am. Why I had to tell you all that I don't know. I'm suffering with something...OCD perhaps. Ha!

The thing that I learned for the first time is that hand cart business. Oh my...I cannot imagine the grit and determination that took. Incredible.

Spent a lot of time looking at the snowflakes. Somewhere I just read that snowflakes are not all unique. I'm not buying it. There can't be two that are exactly the same...even twins are different. Perhaps there are classes or styles... Anyway, I enjoyed that bit.

Then there's the beautiful Temple Square, which is simply marvelous and magical at this time of year. I especially loved the one with the green hedges. Don't know why, but that's what I'm remembering.

Beautiful post.

Hope that Bernie is doing better every day.

Sara said...

Waaaa! Or should I say baaaaa! I want to be there too!

Your photos are amazing; I love all those miraculous snowflakes...what beauties! What creativity!

And all the lights downtown . . . brings back happy memories.

Lovella ♥ said...

I enlarged the photos to see the intricate details of those snowflakes. I have never seen snow like that. It really is amazing to see how each snowflake is so tiny but perfect.
You really are an adventurer! I'm impressed.

Linda said...

Hello Jill, thanks for visiting my blog. I'm delighted to discover yours. How amazing to have captured these snowflake photos.
And I'm so interested in your showshoeing. It's something I've always wanted to try, ever since giving up skiing because I kept falling and breaking things!
We have visited San Diego - when our children were 6 and 9 we did a house exchange with a family from LA, and spent a few lovely days in San Diego. Mostly at Sea World, but we have always wanted to return and get to know more of the city and area.
I hope you're having a lovely Christmas.

Rosella said...

Your pictures are brilliant!!! The snowflake ones are SO amazing!! Temple square is beautiful and you got some wonderful shots of it!!! Wow.....

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Maybe we will have to return to SLC in the winter sometime. So beautiful! You got the best pictures....especially the snowflakes.

It didn't look like there was much of a shoulder on that road for you to pull over. So glad you never got stuck in the snow!

Just a little something from Judy said...

Okay, now my daughter is headed back outside. Your professional looking snow pictures inspired her and she is off to take more. See how your blog is a blessing to everyone.