Hoarfrost

Last Saturday started out quite frosty.

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At our annual Thanksgiving event at Audubon, I mentioned to an elementary school teacher that I had been out earlier photographing the hoarfrost.

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This led to a conversation about the word and the fact that it has showed up in a second grade reading test. Many of the teachers in her school had never heard the word before.

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According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word comes from the Old English word har, which means gray, venerable, old, the “gray” referring to a nobleman’s gray hair, I suppose.

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Cal Tech has a wonderful website that explains that frost and snowflakes are formed in a similar way when water vapor condenses directly into ice, skipping the liquid water stage. The difference is that snow forms around dust particles suspended in the air, while frost forms on objects on or near the ground.

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When frost crystals grow beyond a fine white coating, they earn the name hoarfrost.

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Last Saturday, the whole world was covered in the stuff.

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If I had been dressed more properly for the cold, I might have stayed out longer to take more pictures!

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Google search for hoarfrost images.

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Winter’s Walk at the Gorge

I wasn’t altogether sure I was up for a hike today. I’ve been running myself ragged at work and with all my Women Create activities – to the point of being on the verge of a cold.  But, I mustered some energy and met my hiking buddies for a day at the Gorge.

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Terry always makes me walk places that scare me.  It’s good for the heart.

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We had to hug the wall of the gorge to get past the unusually high water.

Once we got past the scary part there were great photo opps:

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We had a little fire to warm our hands and dry our gloves. (I only sort of melted mine.)

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All in all, we had a blast… especially the dogs:

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More Ice!

Crystalline TearsI managed to get out into the woods again today before the combination of sun and wind knocked most of the ice off the trees.  How much more supple the branches were once they were freed from the ice!  I tried some of your suggestions (thank you!) and am pretty pleased with some of my shots… Though I still feel as though many are just lucky shots more than results of any expertise on my part!  Ha ha!

This one could have been crisper, but I liked how the fallen ice lies on top of the snow – shattered into pieces like broken glass.

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Forest Floor in Winter: Sans Snow – Part II – Lines and Shapes

Sometimes it is color that draws my eye… other times, it is just a line or a shape or a pattern.  Here are a few from my walk on Sunday:

Leaves
How many trees can you identify from this picture?

Puddle
Still no snow, but at least the puddles are frozen…

Black Stuff on Beech Bark Armillaria mellea
Beech Bark; and… Do you remember this fungus?  (Mouse over it for name.)

Pattern on a barkless branch

Pattern on a barkless branch
The last two images are closeups of the patterns on the same barkless branch.

Tomorrow:  Textures!