Friday, March 09, 2007

Suddenly, winter returned.

On Wednesday, the valley received three inches of snow. Just when we all thought that spring had arrived at the battlefield, winter came a calling. As I drove into the park Thursday morning I was reminded of why I never leave the house without my camera. The valley was frosted with what the locals call "ice fog" or "fog ice". Of the may beautiful mornings that I've experienced in the Antietam Creek Valley this was possibly the most beautiful of all.

It was an ephemeral experience, I knew that I had a window of perhaps thirty minutes to capture these images before the sun caused all of the frosting to melt away.

Here is your battlefield, cold, sparkling, and beautiful.
The Newcomer barn just east of Sharpsburg.

Beyond the ornamental gates of the National Cemetery the snow was as yet unmarked by any tracks, save for the squirrels.

Old Simon presides, as always, above the bivouac of the dead on this bright and frosty morning.

It's not often that one can catch Simon with snow on his uniform.

From the wall behind the National Cemetery we are presented with a panorama that includes the intrusion of the jet traffic to and from Washington D.C.

As we advance beyond the cemetery we find this frigid twelve-pounder, which harassed the advance of Burnside's Ninth Corps.

And down in the frosty valley we catch a glimpse of Rodman Avenue, namesake of that most noble and conflicted of Quakers; Issac Peace Rodman, who cast aside his pacifist beliefs to defend his nation, and lose his life, just outside of Sharpsburg.

Each crystal of ice stands at attention, this phenomonen will last about a half hour before the sun melts it all away.

The four-gun battery is dazzling.

The Maryland Monument catches my attention in the early sunlight. It's difficult to frame up a shot in my viewfinder as everything is so blindingly brilliant

Such a contrast, such a morning, such a place.

The New York monument seems to pop into focus against the blue sky.

And, as usual, I find myself drawn to the Maryland monument, residing in the prettiest corner of this most beautiful National Park.

Come visit, before the thaw,

Ranger Mannie

1 comment:

John Maass said...

VERY nice photos....glad I came across these.

JM