Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Chesterfield In Winter

Chesterfield, Idaho is an agricultural ghost town in the southeastern part of the state.  It was founded in 1880 by Mormon pioneers.  It was a hard place to make a living, and gradually became a ghost town due to drought, harsh winters, and the depression.
Today, Chesterfield is undergoing a revival of sorts as descendants of the early families are restoring the town.  The Chesterfield Foundation recently purchased the beautiful Muir-Butterfield house, and has started restoration by rebuilding the porch.
The LDS Meeting House is probably the best preserved building in town.  When I first started visiting Chesterfield it was a museum, but now it has been restored back to its original form.  In summer, many of the buildings are open for visitors and tours.

In winter, the town is boarded up, deserted, and resting quietly in the snow and cold.  Linda and I visited with three other members of our Sharp Shooters Camera Club.

There is a lot to see and photograph in the quiet of winter.  A restored tractor is parked near the shadow of rusty farm equipment, and interesting details are everywhere.

Old equipment, frosty fences, interesting buildings, ancient gas pumps, snowdrifts – the photo opportunities are wonderful.

The buildings include log cabins, stately brick homes, religious structures, and stores.

A windmill stands alone on a hilltop.

There are 41 buildings in the historic district, and most near the center of town have been restored, but many around the outskirts of town still are in “ghost town” condition, so there is a nice mix of photography subjects.  If you want to see the interiors and talk to knowledgeable people about the town, visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  But if you want to see Chesterfield when it is deserted and quiet, visit in the winter.

Please note that all of my photos are copyrighted and must not be used without my permission.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bear Lake Valley Fog

Every winter, there is a week or so of heavy fog in the Bear Lake Valley.  If the temperatures are cold enough we are treated to a display of hoarfrost on the trees and fences.  Some years, the temperatures stay low enough to allow the frost to build up over several days to amazing thickness, as I showed in this 2014 post:

So far, this year has been a little different because the temperatures have warmed up enough in most places for the frost to melt in the afternoon.  So, every night a thin layer of frost starts to accumulate in the fog over again, but we haven’t had the very thick hoarfrost like last year.

But the fog is still beautiful, and a challenge to photograph.  My autofocus had difficulty with many scenes because objects are so indistinct.  Setting the camera on a single spot focus helped when I placed the sensor on the most distinct area I could find.

I walked around the edge of the golf course in Montpelier, Idaho, then a little way up a steep hill in fairly deep snow, and had the place to myself.  There was more frost here than in some other places, perhaps because the hill blocked the sun quite a while.

Later, Linda and I went out for a ride, looking for more fog scenes, and enjoyed this barn in Bloomington, Idaho.  The fog helped clean up the background clutter, and added some nice frost to the tree.

These big fog events can totally fill the valley with fog, and I had never seen it from above the clouds, so we drove to Garden City, Utah where we could find an overlook.  I wanted to go on an old abandoned road that has a great view, but it has been blocked off, so instead hiked along a ridge in fairly deep snow to get this view.  It is hard to believe that big, beautiful Bear Lake is buried in those clouds.  It was fun to see the valley from a new perspective.

These photos are all copyrighted.  Please do not use them without my permission.