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. )