Last Wednesday we'd had a couple inches of cold dry snow overnight, after a week of unusually cold weather. As soon as I'd cleared the driveway I headed up to Steep Rock Preserve for more winter pictures. I expected ice forms on some of the rock faces along the hiking trails as well as a nice coating of snow on the trees.
Conditions were just what I'd hoped for, except that in places the snow concealed rock-hard slabs of ice. Powder snow on top of flat ice equals no traction whatsoever. I had a couple slips but carefully got to the sections of the park I wanted to photograph. Spots that I'd gotten good pictures from this past fall and want to revisit in all four seasons.
Things went well until I'd gotten back to within a couple hundred yards of the parking area where I stepped on snow that covered a small river of ice crossing the path—and down I went. Luckily I didn't break a hip, or the cameras. Once I managed to get upright again, which wasn't easy in that spot, I got back to the car without further incident and drove back to the house and a hot shower. At least I got some nice results for my efforts.
January was unusually cold in Connecticut and there were major problems with ice formation. Damaging floods resulted from ice blockages on the Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers. Even the little Shepaug in Litchfield County had a bumper crop of ice floes.
Lakewood Park, at the south end of the Great Brook Reservoir, is a quiet place in winter. I get the impression that it's quite old and may have had more activity in years past. A bit of looking around online shows that it's still a popular spot for swimming from the small beach in hot weather. Still an interesting place to explore on a cold December morning.
Silver Sands turned up in my map-searching for southern New England parks, one of only a few shoreline parks on Connecticut's Long Island Sound coast. When I arrived there was rain and sleet with temperatures just above freezing, but the light was fascinating—dark but somehow glowing. Exploration was limited to half an hour or so. I had a rain jacket, but not enough insulating layers to fight the conditions for very long. Still an interesting walk around the park, a destination to return to in other conditions.