Palmer Hay Flats, Alaska, USA by Ray Bulson

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Frost and great winter light often go together in sub-Arctic and Arctic landscapes.This photo was taken at a popular bird breeding grounds near Anchorage, Alaska called Palmer Hay Flats. It is situated along the Knik Inlet and River which remain unfrozen even in the depths of winter. On clear, subzero days, the relatively warm water from these two bodies condenses and rises as "steam" which coats everything nearby in a type of frost called hoarfrost. As the sun set, the warmth of the clear skies contrasted nicely with the cold, grey frost of the small black spruce trees. The boreal, or northern forest, is comprised largely of black spruce, which is why it is called taiga, a Russian word for land of little trees.

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