We pick up the narrative again in relating a frigid February 2015 expedition into the snow-covered hills of northeastern Ohio Appalachia. As I write, a year later, the weather outside my window is not so different from what we see here, so I am channeling my inner Yeti. I’ve been finding taking photographs in snowy conditions is rather interesting; snow can really change the character of a photograph, whether landscape or otherwise. It has both a visual effect—the addition of so much white into a photo frame—and a psychological effect, creating distance, loneliness, sometimes purity.
Unearthed Ohio is active again, after some time off for questionable behavior. Unlike most blogs, where inactivity for an extended time portends doom, the extended hibernation here was deliberate. Much of my free time this past year was spent working with a designer and a developer to create a new version of my other website, then I had to import and convert the old content, then catch up, and, well, it was a monumental undertaking. I had to put Unearthed Ohio to the side—though I never stopped the actual photography. Now I can catch up a bit. With this blog entry, I present photographs from a trip I took in mid-February 2014, deep in the heart of the Polar Vortex. As I write this intro, however, I seem to be deep in the heart of Polar Vortex 2: Electric Boogaloo. Two very nasty winters in a row. The one advantage that a winter offers is winter landscapes and last year I took the opportunity of a recent snowfall to do some experimentation with snowy photography, which I present to you herewith.
In which our intrepid hero experiences his first ever car chase…
Ohio, it turns out, is not a particularly sunny state. Ohio’s major cities average only between 63 and 77 days of sunshine (defined as 30% or less cloud cover) per year. More than half of the days in Ohio have at least 80% cloud cover. Chicago has more clear days than Columbus (which falls somewhere in the middle of Ohio’s range); Boston has several weeks worth of more clear days; Dallas has nearly twice the number of clear days as Columbus; and Las Vegas has three times the number of clear days as Columbus. I was unable to find out how 2013 compared to the average for Ohio, but it seems to me, based on my excursions in 2013, that either 2013 was a particularly cloudy year for Ohio or I must have had been particularly unlucky in the days I was able to drive, because when I look back at the photographs I took in 2013, it seems like it was cloudy on almost every excursion.