Premières neiges

Monday October 18 - St. Luke the Evangelist

Mid-October sees the first snow on the Western Alps. Snow, that might have decorated the very tips of the mountains since the end of August, dares a bit more and paints a compact layer of white, coming down to the passes at 2.000 metres. This year there has been more snow than in the past years in this period: Col de Vars and Passo della Maddalena are mostly white, even though quite a few snow has probably been melted in the sunny days that followed the snowfall.

Le Chapeau de Gendarme enneigée.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 137 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

La forteresse de Tournux.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 200 mm, 1/250 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Around Col de Vars snow has covered all the grass pastures, even though a few herds of cows are still there. They appear to be fine: they have been provided with some hay and move around to find some portions of terrain that are not covered, such as those around creeks and under the larches.

Vaches dans la neige.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 70 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, -0.30 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

Vaches dans la neige.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 200 mm, 1/400 sec @ ƒ/8, +1.00 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

Vaches dans la neige.

Sony α6000 + E 150-600mm F5-6.3 @ 283 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.30 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

The higher peaks that border the valley of the Durance river clearly show that alpine meadows at high altitude have been covered by snow, even though larches at lower heights have kept their green colour. Even though this is a very bright and sunny day, a few small clouds gathering over the peaks are trying to give a hint of the bad weather that is going to bring even more snow in the next weeks.

La neige sur les sommets de la vallée de la Durance.

Sony NEX-6 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 70 mm, 1/320 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.30 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

La neige sur les sommets de la vallée de la Durance.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 200 mm, 1/500 sec @ ƒ/8, ISO 100, hand-held.

Some parts of the landscape at Passo della Maddalena - Col de Larche for the French cousins - have already turned winterly; there are no more flocks of sheep - they were still lingering just ten days before - and shepherd shelters have been abandoned. They have started the long sleep that will last until the next spring.

More photos of the day are available in the diary.

Abri sous la neige.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 96 mm, 1/160 sec @ ƒ/8, +2.30 EV, ISO 400, hand-held.

La neige sur le Col de Larche.

Sony α6000 + FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS @ 154 mm, 1/640 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.30 EV, ISO 400, hand-held.