On this day in Iowa the actual air temperature (not wind chill) had dropped to 19 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. At the time these pictures were taken, it had climbed up to 14 below. Mother Nature can be at once beautiful and brutal. I imagine you can almost feel the frigid air set against the crisp backdrop of this winter wonderland. Locals will recognize the Cedar River in Cedar Falls, IA, the Ice House Museum, the one room school house, and the train bridge.
With freezing shaky hands and a camera battery that was rapidly draining, Mark managed to capture some pretty stunning shots. You know its cold when you see water vapor like this coming off of the river. I can't help but think about the resilience of our species on days like this. I wonder about how people could survive before having warm comfortable homes to hunker down in. It's a miracle, really.
As always, you can click to enlarge the images, taken by Mark on January 2, 2010.