With Winter officially over - we'll forget that brief period of snow on Sunday, I've been going through my unpublished photographs from the last 3 or 4 months in order to determine which ones to keep or delete. Fortunately this is not an extremely time consuming process for one of my regular photography practices includes reviewing images from each photo session on the day they were taken and delete those that lack perspective, clarity or simply a reason to keep right at that moment. The remaining images accumulate in a folder throughout a given season until at the end of it I take one last look at each one and then determine whether to keep it or not. Over the years I have found this practice to be a great way to recall other aspects of the moment when I took a particular picture before they become a more distant memory.
Forgive me for I certainly did not mean to wax on about my image hoarding habits but rather to explain how this journal entry on this past Winter's ice and snow events around the Chesapeake Bay came to be with the help of these now filed photographs.
The Harsh Winter Of 2014 In Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Region
First of all it would be wrong of me to imply with this journal entry's title that the Chesapeake Bay was the only region in the country to fall victim to this year's Polar Vortexes. These climate phenomenons brought about extremely cold temperatures, unusual ice build ups and of course snow to large portions of the Midwest, South and East beginning in January that in most cases are not use to these Siberian like weather conditions.
So let's take a look at some of those photographs of mine that are about to either be filed or discarded while remembering the Winter of 2014 around Maryland's Chesapeake Bay region.
Ice On The Kent Narrows • Winter 2014
To begin with this photograph brought back not so fond memories of very cold hands along with the pain of the wind whipping in from the Bay right in my face. Many a traveler who crossed Maryland's Bay Bridge this past Winter saw the heavy build up of ice along the eastern and western shorelines that hasn't been seen there in years. Ice breakers were used to clear channels through the numerous rivers that empty into Maryland's Chesapeake Bay more so than in the past.
This is a scene from the Grasonville Maryland side of the Kent Narrows just after the snow had stopped falling. While pretty much devoid of color, in a Marion E. Warren kind of way, it certainly captured a sense of the vista that was spread out before me on that day and serves as a reminder that there are times when heavy clothing and thick gloves are simply not enough.
Crab Cages In The Snow
It goes without saying that the Chesapeake Bay region is well know for its Blue Crabs - Callinectes sapidus (beautiful swimmer & savory), that make for the world's best eating steamed and soft shell crabs, okay I'm biased. For us locals we also know how the unseasonably low and/or late Winter cold temperatures impact the migrating patterns northward of our tasty friends from the Bay. As I looked at the picture of these Crab Cages stored along a snowy shoreline that I took perhaps a month ago or so I was thinking about just how my future dinner guests were fairing these days after their turbulent Winter of hibernation here at the start of the commercial crab season.
By the way for a great book on the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab and the watermen who make their living from it I highly recommend "Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay" by the late William W. Warner.
Winter White Caps Off Tilghman Island Maryland
As I opened this particular photograph on my screen a deep cold chill went through my entire body. It seems that I still possess vivid memories of not only these white caps breaking on the Chesapeake Bay off Tilghman Island Maryland but also the intensely cold feelings that I was experiencing as I took it. I am pretty sure that with the wind chill the temperature at the time was well below zero. How these gulls, seen in the lower portion of this picture, stayed airborne in the brutal winds on that day I will never know. As I now remember from this photo session I was so bitterly cold all the way back to St. Michaels Maryland in spite of having my car's seat warmers on and the heat turned up to high.
Sunrise Over An Icy Annapolis Harbor
On the day that I took this picture I remember being disappointed in not having an opportunity to use this photograph on my Annapolis Experience Blog for reasons of too many great images to choose from on that day's picture post. This scene was captured almost exactly as sunrise broke over Annapolis Harbor with the ice seen in the foreground and snow along the distant shoreline of the Severn River. Even further out past Greenbury Point a bulk carrier is seen anchored in the ice free waters of a Chesapeake Bay shipping channel. Needless to say it was cold and windy as I stood on the dock that day and as before the intensity of the winds off the Bay brought the feeling of frost bite on my face.
Its time to close up these Winter photography files of mine for the year and move on to begin accumulating those of Spring. As an aside I have not quite put away all of my Winter clothing for the season since one never knows just what might happen in the coming weeks, i.e. last Sunday's snow fall, weather wise. Winter is now officially behind us and I say good riddance.
G J Gibson
Images and Article Copyright ©2014 G J Gibson Photography LLC