Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas Blizzard - A New Beginning

White Christmas at Bridgeport, Nebraska

After a long spell of unseasonably warm weather, an unexpected snowstorm slammed into Bridgeport with a vengeance. Western Nebraska was transformed into a winter landscape of dark woodlands set against the white sandhills.

During an expedition to document the blizzard’s dramatic effects, I was guided by a pack of friendly farm dogs. An Australian Shepherd and two Schnorgies plowed through eight inches of snow, blazing a trail along the banks of a winding, black creek.

I followed them closely but I missed the shot when they flushed a flock of migrating mallards. Further on as we approached a particularly fine looking tree, a great-horned owl took flight and flapped quietly across the frozen prairie.

Throughout the day, bitterly cold temperatures continued to drop and a band of heavy snow kept falling. From an overlook above the valley, the normally far-reaching views were condensed into a blur of powdered forest fused with the milky sky.

Trudging through deep drifts far from home we found ourselves right in the middle of a windy whiteout. Even in such harsh conditions, the pups were delighted to pounce and play as I struggled to keep up while crossing a dormant cornfield.

By dusk on the last day of the storm, a spectacular sunset spread a sense of relief across the land. Warm rays emanating from the horizon seemed to signify December’s end and symbolized an inspiring hope for the new year’s beginning.

Dark woodlands

Guided by an Australian Shepherd

Plowing through snow

A winding, black creek

A fine looking tree

Bitterly cold temperatures

A blur of powdered forest

The pups were delighted

A spectacular sunset

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