Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hoar Frost and a Cold Sunrise

   A beautiful hoar frost surprise is hiding out in this cold sunrise. 
winter sunrise
 This morning was another very cold morning with temperatures down near zero (F).  With a little more light it would be easier to see a fog of water vapor rolling up from patches of open water.  This swirling mist rolls off the open water and drifts down the river and floats through the trees. 
bitter cold winter morning
 I took these photos of hoarfrost, or rime ice, during some of the numerous cold snaps we had this winter when temperatures were at or below zero. 
 This morning was just one of the many times this winter when the moist air drifting through the frosty branches of the trees ended up freezing as a beautiful hoarfrost coating.  on everything.
morning by the river with beautiful hoar frost

 Here is a photo of the water vapor fog and the hoarfrost-coated trees (looking down river).
ice, water vapor, and hoarfrost
 Here is a photo looking up river.
morning by the river during the winter

Hoarfrost sure can make the scenery beautiful.
 The same can be said of wherever the frost crystals form.
hoar frost ice crystals
 As the moisture evaporates from the open patches of water on these very cold mornings, the water vapor condenses on cold objects....
hoar frost on weeds
 ... forming ice needles and delicate, fern-like ice crystal formations on weeds, branches, etc.... even on the river ice.
hoar frost or rime on ice
 From a distance the rime ice/hoarfrost looks like many cotton balls scattered across the ice.
hoar frost on ice
Ahhhh, on bitter cold mornings sunrise reveals beautiful hoarfrost designs coating everything along the river.
cold birds sitting on hoarfrost-coated branches
Perhaps the only beauty for the birds is that they survived another cold night... and, now today, it looks like they survived winter's last gasp.


  1. Oh Dana these are lovely. My favourite is the last one with the Cardinal.

    1. Thanks Sybil.
      When I saw the beauty of that moment (from my desk), I shot the photo through the window and a couple of screens. Otherwise, I would have disturbed the cardinal and ruined the fleeting moment when the rising sun, the fog, the hoar frost, and the cold cardinal could be framed to capture the essence of a cold winter morning. The window screens added a softness, or something, to the photo.