Heavy Frost ..

The first thing I do usually when I wake each morning here in South Dakota, is look out one of our east facing windows.  I think I have just about always done the same wherever I have lived, I love the morning sun and the promise of each new day.  But for reasons I am about to share, the sunrise here is just different, and I appreciate each and every one I am able to enjoy.

The past 15 years of my life in Madison, WI there were typically neighbors homes or trees blocking the view and the sound of cars whipping by a busy road accompanying any morning light.

My time in Montana is perhaps the best comparison.  As you can imagine, there were magnificent views in each direction and a bold skyline of snow capped mountains, rich green forests, clear ice blue rivers, and deep shadows in the valleys, all soaking up the sun as it would rise in the sky.  But the sunrise would come in beautiful stages.

Here, it is instant it seems, the first crack of light is far and wide, like a fire spreading across the horizon.  It is sincerely unlike any other I have ever experienced simply because, if for no other reason, there is nothing to block your view (well, maybe the power lines) as far as the eye can see.

Sunrise in South Dakota

Late Morning Sunrise in South Dakota

While this morning once again did not disappoint – 6:45 a.m., deep shades of pink, orange, yellow and bright blue were mingling together across the horizon – there was one thing blocking the view.  At least through one window.

Frost on the Window

Frost on the Window

While I know the sheer amount of frost here is not good for the wood frames and a clear indication we need new windows/better insulation/etc (a project we plan to tackle in coming months) I tried to ignore that for the time being and soak in the moment.

The pattern of the frost was a bit mesmerizing and I loved the first light of dawn shining through.

Playing with Camera Filter

Playing with Camera Filter

Return of the Sun Dogs

Another frigid day on the plains of South Dakota brought a return of the Sun Dogs.

…………

We had only started to drive away from the house this morning on our way to school, when I started searching for my sunglasses.  While I hate to ever complain about the sun, it was incredibly bright.  It took me a moment to realize why.

Turning onto our dirt road, I glanced toward the sky and startled our 11 year old when I shouted, “The Sun Dogs are back!”

Incredible Morning Sky

Incredible Morning Sky

While admiring the glow and the beautiful drive into town, I called the Cowboy and asked him to grab the camera and snap a few shots back at the ranch.  He claims to not really know what he’s doing with the lens, but I love this image from today in particular.

Cowboy's shot

Cowboy’s shot