Friday, January 29, 2010

Hoarfrost





A couple of Saturdays ago we experienced the beginning of a typical Midwest midwinter thaw.


With 9-12 inches of snow cover, clouds parted, the sun came out, and the temperature rose above freezing. As snow began to melt the cool air quickly became saturated. As the afternoon and evening wore on, it became increasingly foggy.


Overnight the temperature dipped below freezing. The moisture in the air condensed on frozen branches and on the dried remains of last summer's herbaceous growth, forming the spiky ice crystals known as hoarfrost.


We saw no sign of hoarfrost in our neighborhood that Sunday morning. I had a couple of errands to run though, and while I was out I found myself enchanted by the beauty of the landscape transformed by hoarfrost. I wished I'd brought my camera.


Then the sun came out. Though a welcome sight, I knew its appearance would quickly melt the frost. Morning errands were finished, followed by a dash home for the camera, with hopes of snapping a few photos before the hoarfrost vanished.

(close-up detail of hoarfrost. All photos in this post can be enlarged by clicking on them.)


While it wasn't quite as dramatic as earlier that morning before the sun came out, I was glad to be able to capture a few shots before it was gone.

Beautiful, isn't it?


31 comments:

  1. It is beautiful, indeed! You managed to capture some beautiful moments.

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  2. Oooh, Linda, I've been waiting here for a good "crop" of hoarfrost, but we've yet to have it. Conditions have been right, but no hoarfrost, so I'll enjoy yours! I especially like the photo of it close-up.

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  3. Thank you Tatyana - glad you enjoyed the hoarfrost.

    Thanks Kylee! When I first went out in the morning it was much heavier, and oh how I wished I'd had the camera with me. It dissapeared fast once the sun came out, but I'm glad I managed to catch it before it was completely gone.

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  4. Oh my yes, Linda, beautiful indeed! I love the umbrellifer, whatever it is with the spiky mohawk hairdo! We had lots of hoarfrost here last winter, and many photos were taken. This year, not one single bit of it, even though it has been cold and moist enough. Just not the right conditions I guess. Maybe I need to get out in to the county to find some. I am in love with your shots. :-)
    Frances

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  5. Those are great photos. I'm glad you got a few off too, before it was too late. Thanks for bringing me back to my childhood days in Indiana.

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  6. Wasn't that amazing. The dense fog at night and then those spear shaped clumps of frost in the morning.

    And I didn't get any photos, darn.
    Marnie

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  7. It has been a winter full of beauty, I will say that. Full of bitter cold too, but at least there's beauty!

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  8. I like the umbellifer with its spiky mohawk too Frances. I hope you'll yet see some hoarfrost this winter.

    My pleasure Liza. Thanks for visiting.

    Glad you got to see it too Marnie. Wish I'd had my camera with me the first time out - could have gotten some photos before it had evaporated as much!

    So true Rose! Even some of the grayest, dreariest days have been beautiful. Maybe we're just noticing winter's beauty more than we used to. The cold. . . we always notice that!

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  9. Linda, gorgeous photos. Beauty can be found in the winter-a treat for us who suffer the cold. :) I really enjoy looking at the photos in your sidebar and draming of spring. Hopefully it won't be too far off.

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  10. That closeup of the ice crystals is awesome!

    Nice tour Linda.

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  11. Beautiful, Linda! The close-up of the ice crystals really shows the full effect of the hoarfrost. I don't think I even noticed this here--it was foggy and gray for so many days that I wasn't even paying attention. Thanks for showing us another lovely view of winter. As cold as it is right now, I'm thinking I prefer cold and sunny to warmer and gray:)

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  12. Thank you Beckie!

    This is a good time for dreaming, and dreaming of spring will help pass the time until it gets here! It will be here before we know it, and pass too soon!

    MBT, I was glad to find that example - being close to the ice and snow on the ground, it was slower evaporating than the trees.

    Thanks Rose! I was glad I was out and about to see it - it was definitely spotty around here. I was wondering why I didn't notice it until I got out of our neighborhood. I realized when I came back it was because there was no sign of hoarfrost in the neighborhood.

    I prefer sunny in the winter too, yet I've come to appreciate the warmer, gray days too - they're good days for being lazy and maybe even catching a nap (or two!) I definitely have more energy though on sunny days.

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  13. Very pretty pictures. I don't think I've ever seen a hoarfrost other than pictures. I love how you can see the details of the ice crystals.

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  14. Hoarfrost. I didnt know it was called that. It was really beautiful. Pictures just dont do the beauty of it justice, because I tried. It was very magical to see.

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  15. Thank you Catherine!

    I agree Debbie - it's so pretty in person, and hard to capture in photos. Glad you got to see it too.

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  16. Beautiful!... We thought colours are necessary ingredient of beauty, and we could be wrong...

    ~bangchik

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  17. Wow, that closeup was beautiful! I'm not sure I've ever actually seen hoarfrost. I've seen plenty of frost but never anything with that much texture. Guess I should go out earlier in the morning!

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  18. Love the close-up view. All our snow has melted as well, we have just the slightest flurry cover now. I really prefer a warm blanket of snow. It's bitter cold and windy. :(

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  19. Wow on the close up of the hoar frost! It's beautiful~~and a rare occurrence here, but so appreciated when it happens! I hope your weekend was sweet. gail

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  20. Colors are always welcome Bangchik, yet we'll take beauty wherever we find it in winter.

    Thank you Diane. There are so many cool (no pun intended ;) forms frost can take. I like the ferny stuff that sometimes gets on window glass too. It can be amazingly intricate and beautiful.

    Hi Monica, It's better here today - temps hit the low 30's. After all the snow melted a couple weeks ago, we got another inch or two almost immediately. It sounds like there's more snow in the forecast for this week too - you may get some of that to blanket your garden too.

    Thanks Gail. The light was just right for that close-up. I like the sparkle of it. Hoarfrost doesn't happen all that often here either, but it sure is pretty. We had a nice, relaxed weekend. Hope yours was sweet too, and hope you're healing well.

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  21. Hoar frost is one of the most beautiful things imaginable. I no longer live where it forms. I wish I did. I miss it.

    Esther

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  22. Beautiful, and fleeting Esther! Here, it's not a frequent occurrence, and when it does occur, it disappears all too quickly.

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  23. I just love frosty mornings like your beautiful pictures. It always looks magical to me.
    Balisha

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  24. I have seen this so many times before but never knew it had a name! That is so interesting and something new learned today!!!

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  25. I love seeing a tree covered in snow and ice and the prisms of light when it starts melting. That last one is indeed beautiful, Linda! ;)

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  26. Magical is the perfect word to describe it Balisha - it was a world transformed that morning.

    Cool Skeeter! That's one of my favorite things about reading blogs - I've learned so much from bloggers in the last couple of years.

    Me too Lynn - thank you!

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  27. Hi Linda,
    thanks for the comment on my valentine post. I wish your husband good luck on his surgery. Take care,
    Balisha

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  28. Very serene pictures...

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  29. Nice photos ... We don't see those here in Malaysia!

    Blossom

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  30. My pleasure Balisha - I always enjoy visiting your blog!

    Thank you J, and thanks for visiting!

    Thank you Blossom, and thank you for visiting. I'll trade some hoarfrost for some Malaysian warmth!

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  31. Absolutely gorgeous!

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