Wednesday, December 2, 2015

fog magic

It's creepily beautiful.
As a little girl, I was enamored of a book called Fog Magic. In it, a young girl named Greta found a whole world inside the fog. Once she passed a certain age (twelve?) she could no longer go inside that world but must grow up. 

I hadn't thought about that book in years, until a dense, freezing fog descended upon my town for days. This is sometimes the hardest weather to deal with. It's damp and icy and miserable. On the positive side, it can be quite beautiful. Trees and bushes get frosted with white, and every so often the dense curtain lifts to reveal what is hiding beneath.

I lingered in my cabin, talking myself out of running. It was eight degrees, but felt much colder than that. Did I have to? Couldn't I just ride the bike trainer? But then a mysterious sight appeared. No, it wasn't another world in the fog. It was three runners, making their way carefully down my street.

Few people run here, and I know most of them. I didn't recognize this intrepid bunch, but the outcome was clear: if they were out there running, I had to also! I couldn't let some Thanksgiving out of towners show me up.

I actually ran in a down skirt over tights. I felt slightly ridiculous but it was warm.
Putting on all the layers, I drove carefully to the closed campground, where I had seen a packed down vehicle track. Donning my microspikes, I was off. And as I ran the loops, I found an unknown gate to some roads I had never seen before. I ran slowly along a route I had never run. Was this route here all along, these cabins, this road? Or had I stepped into an alternate fog world?Hmm....

How do you endure the fog? Do you go out in it? Maybe you live someplace where fog never happens.

24 comments:

  1. Fog Magic! Yesss. Glad you found a running route...or was it real? Hmmm.

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    1. It was strange that I've lived here so long and never found it before. Hmm...

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  2. Thank you for calling it freezing fog, I'm sure Matt would be proud you didn't call it ice fog. :) In the summertime, it's almost always foggy here much of the day. I used to hate how it prevented perfectly sunny days, but there's definitely something beautiful about it. The redwoods look best in the fog.

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    1. Glad I named it right! Not sure I would like it in summer all the time, but I do like the change in weather occasionally. Sunny all the time =boring.

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  3. Being out in that freezing fog can be wonderfully magical if you let it be! We do not get it very often but when it happens I embrace it, it can be a photographers dream.

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    1. I am trying to embrace all aspects of winter this year instead of getting frustrated/complaining/moving to Hawaii.

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  4. we don't get fog like that very often here, but I agree. it's stunning, really. ESPECIALLY when it freezes. we do often get the morning ground fog that sits in an eerie layer just at eye level. I feel like I won some special prize when I get to run through it...

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    1. It's a little scary running through it, especially if the trails are icy, but it feels good to be out there when few other people are.

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  5. Some great memories have been made and photographed in these erie conditions. Fairly rare where I live but quite common where my family lives and in the nearby mountains.

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    1. Yes, it is so rare here that it feels pretty special and I want to get out in it. Interestingly, you can get out of it just by gaining elevation--and not very much.

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  6. Some of my best photographs have been taken on foggy days. And freezing fog....oh yeah! Your first pic is especially nice.

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    1. I love it also. A professional like yourself could do a lot with this type of weather. I just point and shoot.

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  7. I bitch and moan about it and when it lifts then I write a poem about it. hah! Freezing fog is probably at the top of my list for most loathed weather, followed closely by rain in the winter (it's supposed to be snow!). Growing up in Colorado I think that winter should be sunshine and powder. That said, we had enough low-level moisture (but not true freezing fog thank goodness) and cold temperatures to create some amazing crystal fan structures on everything and to make brilliant sparkles in the snow (when struck by my headlights in the dark on my way to work) that were so numerous and twinkly that they looked like mineral sparkles in a cave, or gazillions of fireflies (though they were ice white not yellow of course).

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  8. I don't mind fog sometimes and yes it can be beautiful when it freezes.
    What I don't like is when we get into those long inversion periods where we don't see the sun for days on end. This winter is shaping up to be one of those winters for our part of eastern Oregon. I'll just have to take lots of road trips to get some elevation and get above it. :)

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    1. We don't get weeks. But we can get several days, which feel like weeks.

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  9. You might just point and shoot, but I always love your photographs especially when clicked on. Fog is so rare here that I always get super excited to see it.

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    1. It's fairly rare here too, but when it does come it seems to stick around for a few days. Which makes it seem like more often.

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  10. My best fog memories are from Sitka. I loved how patchy fog would highlight ridges hidden in plain sight on Gavin hill.

    One very foggy day a friend and I went ahead with a planned hike from Harbor Mountain to Gavin Hill. Above the fog it was a gorgeous, sunny day, with the fog rising up to just touch the lowest saddles. Heading down the Gavin Hill trail it quickly got very dark and everyone in town was pretty depressed!

    --Tom
    Fairbanks

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  11. I love the beauty of the fog, except when I'm driving. Beautiful pix!

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  12. Hi Mary, I don't get fog here very often. When I do, I prefer the Winter fog. To me, it is soothing and it seems to me to be protective in a way. I feel safe in it, if you can figure that out. It's like, the outside world isn't there.

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    1. I feel the same way. I love the term winter fog, too.

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