Friday, December 21, 2012

Frost On The Blueberry Gall

   Look! A frost-covered blueberry gall with a receding hairline.
frost crystals on a blueberry stem gall
On this frosty gall, the balding forehead was a fleeting, momentary thing since the morning sun was quickly reducing the frost crystals to beads of sweat as we watched.
   This post is about some frosty moments we've had this season since it seems winter has been tip-toeing around and leaving some clues that it is planning on coming soon and staying for awhile.
frosty blueberry stem gall
We expect this blueberry stem gall contains quite a few overwintering larvae... see my earlier post about what hatched out of a blueberry stem gall.
    The same frosty morning the boys discovered some needle ice or frost pillars under the roots of a windfall.  They promptly stomped on the needle ice and brought some chunks over to show me.  They (little geomorphologists in training) remembered how needle ice lifts particles of soil and contributes to soil creep.
needle ice lifting soil particles

Today it started snowing.  I snapped a few pictures of snowflakes that were clinging to some moss and other weeds for a fleeting moment before they melted.
snowflake
 The snow fell other times this season, but didn't stay very long.
melting snowflake
 This time the delicate snowflakes started to accumulate and will likely remain as decorations for the winter.
fresh snow on the first day of winter
 Brrr... these frosty moments were our introduction to winter, eh?  The kind of moments a collector of moments would "love to borrow" for her blog... I know, because she just now told me.
snowflakes
Winter has finally settled in for awhile here in North Central Pennsylvania.  Today was fitting day for winter to "decide" to stay... it was the first day of winter.

1 comment:

  1. Those snowflake images are astonishing !

    I think the little frost gall guy looks like he's been hanging out in a wind tunnel.

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