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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Matiko

Foothills Excursion Six: Millarville Monochrome

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

What to do when the trees are limned with beautiful rime ice but the light is flat and the sky dull?

I was in that dilemma recently. I wanted to photograph the glory of the trees and the magic of a foggy day in the Alberta foothills, but wasn’t sure if my camera was up to the job. Some things just can’t be captured by a camera.

Time to get out there and find out! After my usual stop at the Millarville General Store to say hello, I headed west to explore the countryside along Priddis Valley Road. I knew there would be no mountain vistas today and, until I began to shoot in black and white, I didn’t think the outing would be successful.

But as you will see, monochromatic was the best way to capture the moodiness of this early March day.


Thousands of birdhouses on fence posts throughout the Foothills patiently await spring and the return of the songbirds. Wisely, the birds will not set up household for several more months.


I’ve learned that rime ice differs from hoarfrost. Rime ice happens in times of dense fog when water drops in the air come in contact with a surface below freezing. Those liquid water droplets then freeze on contact. Hoarfrost is similar to dew and happens on cold and clear nights when water vapor freezes onto a below-freezing surface.

Your meteorological lesson for the day. You’re welcome.


The towering and majestic coniferous trees in this part of the world can take your breath away in any season. When painted with white, they are spectacular.


The next photos were taken on a less-frosty day. I thought I’d share them because black and white photography seems to enhance the stark beauty of these common rural scenes.


I turned the colour back on for this shot, taken from my back door in that brief moment after the fog begins to lift but before the sun touches the frosty trees.


These horses in their multi-coloured coats were the bright spot in a wintery day. Take heart, all those who long for the warm hues of spring. We will soon be living in a Kodachrome world!

Until next time,


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