Season’s first snow
Davis station is well known for being brown. The Vestfold Hills are very rocky and protect the coastal areas from the cold Katabatic wind, so the summer melt is quick and thorough. It’s typical to go for a couple of months without seeing much white at all across the station. It’s for this reason that I think the season’s first real dump of snow is something worth sharing.
This is an angle I’ve shown before. Just 18 hours prior to this photo being taken, the whole area was brown and black with the rocks and dirt of the Vestfold Hills. Here’s a a 10 second time lapse video that shows a total of 5 hours in real time:
It was very cool to watch as the snowflakes were as large as coins for the first couple of hours. It’s also lovely to see our tiny piece of Antarctica looking white again. Brushing snow off of my boots just makes me feel that little bit more Antarctic!
These are just a few photos of around the place to show you what we can see every day. Remember that 24 hours prior, everything was just dirt and rock. Also note how the wind affects where the snow lands. The gap between the two buildings is something of a wind tunnel so the snow doesn’t have a chance to settle in that area. The first photo is of the ridge just next to that building, which shows how abruptly the snow will fall once the wind speed eases off (or turbulence begins).
Hopefully you can see why our veranda is constructed of steel grid. Just a small amount of snow fell, but already you can see where it has piled up on the steel beams that support the structure. The table and chairs give a perfect indication of how much snow fell. Of course, by the end of the day a few of us had written our names in the snow on the table (which can be seen from the upstairs lounge area).
The little feature in the last photo is caused by wind swirling in just the right way to prevent snow settling against the rock. The snow has built up both above and below it, but in the visible gap the rock is around 20 centimetres into the odd little chasm.
To finish off: A little bit of camera nerdery. This is a HDR composite of five images taken on the same afternoon as the rest of the photos. The clouds began to clear that evening just as the sun started its inexorable descent from the heavens. I’m hoping to capture many impressive sunsets, but for now I will certainly be adding this one to my desktop wallpaper folder.