Category Archives: Weather

Snow Rollers

I’ve never heard of these before…


Rare weather event produces spontaneous snowballs in Idaho

BOISE – Thousands of snowballs rolled in a flat central Idaho field look like the work of hundreds of ambitious kids – except there are no human tracks.


A rare weather event caused the spontaneous snowballs at the Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve and surrounding fields near the tiny town of Picabo.


Preserve manager Sunny Healey spotted the cylindrical shapes up to 18 inches high on Jan. 30 following an overnight windstorm.


She says she had never seen them before but a local rancher told her he’s spotted them twice in previous decades.


Jay Breidenbach of the National Weather Service says so-called snow rollers are caused by an unusual combination of a couple of inches of snow with the right water density and temperatures near freezing, followed by strong winds.


Gotta Love a Good Storm

I love stormy weather!

There’s something about the energy and lightness of the air that just invigorates me.

Here’s a beautiful video by Jeff Boyce, owner of Negative Tilt.

The title “Negative Tilt” refers to a “negatively tilted trough”, which is a rather rare meteorological phenomenon that produces particularly severe weather. And although I shoot using only digital equipment, I felt the term “negative” still tied in with photography. Now I just need to get a “tilt-shift” lens… 🙂

After you watch this video, check more of Jeff’s fantastic work out at I think I might be doing a little shopping there…


1226151007We’ve woken for two days to pogonip, and in looking at the weather forecast it looks like the pogonip will be staying around for a while.

Pogonip is an ice fog that forms in the mountain valleys of the western U.S. when liquid fog droplets freeze to surfaces.  

When the ice crystals stick to surfaces, it is technically called a hoar frost. But those of us who grew up in the west, simply call the entire process (ice fog and resulting crystals) pogonip.

1226150956It it common on mountain tops which are exposed to low clouds, and it happens in valleys during an inversion when low clouds are trapped and the temperature is very cold.

Pogonip is not soft and fluffy like snow. It’s crisp and brittle.

The word pogonip comes from the Shoshone Native American tribes who reside in the western U.S. And it literally means ‘freezing death’ because they believed that if you breathe in the frozen fog the crystals will form in your lungs.

While pogonip can  be very pretty, there are times when it’s a curse. If weather conditions are just right, and inversion can last weeks, weeks where you don’t see the sun all day long…

During those times, the pogonip grows and grows to make normal objects even more surreal.

Here are some from a walk Sophie and I took this morning.


1226150959fChunks of melted snow…


Ornamental grasses…


Silk flowers…


Frozen puddle with leaves…


And on our morning walk, Sophie and I happened upon a robin sitting in our front yard.


Lastly, here are a few pogonip pictures I took during that three week long inversion while we lived in Fallon.

Barbed wire…


Looking at a cottonwood tree at Rich’s dad’s ranch through two pieces of barbed wire.



My favorite pogonip photo. A ‘WELCOME’ sign on our back porch…PogonipWelcome