Winter wind in the Rockies
Estes Park photographer Erik Stensland posted this untitled photo on his Facebook page last month. He spoke of how difficult it can be to capture the wind in a still image. But on this day in December, he did just that. (Note the blue sky. This is not falling snow, it’s a ground blizzard.)
Most of us have probably seen snow swirling in eddies across a street or off a rooftop. And the lucky among us have seen banners of wind-driven snow streaming from mountain peaks. But neither situation explains how the very air comes alive when winter winds roar through the mountains. It may look like a fairyland in this photo, but when the wind kicks up (90 mph is not uncommon), it can be a nightmare. And dangerous. Stensland abandoned his trek this day when he discovered large branches and even whole trees were being toppled.
(This is a big image, and I just noticed that if you zoom in on the darker trees in the foreground, you can actually see the horizontal striations of wind-driven snow. )