I met many very nice people out here, in fact, I had noticed that everyone was in a happy mood and more friendly than usual. I put this down to the ice and snow which made everyone feel like Children at heart. I continued on around until I found this nice angle looking across the bay at the boats, which I think really shows the extent of the ice, which extends further out of the frame on both sides. I don't know what caused those dark lanes across the pack, however contrary to appearance those are also solid ice too.
The water here is instantly deep at the edge of the bank, it's just a straight drop down into deep cold water and reeds, note the foot prints on the ice though. Dark cumulus clouds can be seen in the distance to the E and SE which where dropping further snow showers.
Here are a few more images showing the same scene at various focal lengths. Conversations with some of the passers by informed me that people had been walking out in that area near the boats!.
This is one I took from earlier in the walk which I forgot to add, taken from the high ground over the steps between the two bays. Beyond the bay you can see the rougher water of the Lough which wasn't frozen over. I heard however that the scene here was even more impressive on the previous day but I was still lucky to have made it here when I did because a thaw really began to set in the following day, and although it would take many days to melt the ice here, it would present a very real danger to anyone who dared walk on the Lough as the milder temps took hold.
This was the scene which impressed me most of all looking NE across a very large area of the bay, this enormous area of Lough is pure ice, and it's seriously deep water too. The white and blue coloured sections are all thick ice, there wasn't the slightest motion here at all, everything was deadly still, which you can see for yourself near the end of video clip 2. It was here that I met a very interesting Female photographer with her Daughter who was busy taking images with her DSLR. She was armed with a medium to long range lens and a point and shoot camera for the wide angle shots. We ended up having a great conversation about cameras and lenses which I enjoyed very much, it took my mind off my freezing hands for a while. The ice here looked like a complicated matrix of various shapes, no doubt caused by its formation on the turbulent water.
I love this scene, the extent of the ice was difficult to take in, I never had expected a sight like this earlier when I left home so the trip was extremely rewarding and had paid for itself already. This, and the images below, are taken with the zoom lens so you can appreciate how much ice there is here, it extends across to the far shore in these images. The rock and bottle, despite ruining the scene, prove the icy surface is very real indeed. The hut to the L is used by Bird watchers, although I have never seen anyone in it during the many times I have visited here.
My hands had almost given up at this stage due to the bitter wind from the E (R) which caused the camera to shake uncontrollably so I had to use a faster shutter and up the ISO to 400.
This is probably more than 200mm, I'm not sure of the actual focal length of this lens but it's advertised as 10x optical zoom, with a 5x digital zoom option on top of that.
Same area, panning to the L towards the trees where three Children where walking on the Lough and taking images with their mobile phones. At this stage of the short day it was nearing sunset, the temp was dropping further, and I was loosing light so we returned to the car feeling grateful to experience the warm air inside again.
These are two video clips I made at the time which show the extent of the freeze much better than the images. Excuse the dodgy camera work, I was holding the camera in one shaking hand while keeping the other in my pocket to keep warm. I hope you enjoy them.
2010 has certainly taken off with a dramatic start so I'm delighted to have this most unusual image account to begin the 2010 storm section. With the way things are going here just about anything could happen next. At the time of writing a thaw is on, despite two nights of sleet and snow showers, so the extreme cold spell as come to an end for the time being. With the Atlantic in charge again we are back to wind and rain however a new cold spell could very well occur again because snow events can happen in this country anytime through to April, however even if we do get another cold blast I very much doubt it will reach the extreme level we recently experienced, so I was delighted to have observed this remarkable weather event!. Thanks for reading.