Winter Wonders (part 1 hoarfrost)

Winter is hanging on strong here in Michigan, and the gray days drive me crazy. But when the sun breaks through right after a storm, the beauty it brings is just magical. Last week, I had one of those exquisite days wandering in the woods as the sunshine sparkled on the crystals. I was mesmerized watching the snow melting into new shapes.

heavy hoarfrost

I love the hoarfrost that grows on the surface of twigs and plants. The trails behind my house lead to three little ponds that freeze and melt often during the winter. On some rare mornings it’s just the right temperature that the vapor forms into interlocking ice crystals, creating the fascinating coating. It’s so beautiful.

hoarfrost branch

I think the name is so interesting, it comes from the old english word hār which means to show signs of age; gray,venerable, old. Hoarfrost makes nature look like it’s covered in elderly white hair.

hoarfrost feathers

Most of the frost on this hike looked like teeny tiny evergreens or feathery shapes and spikes. Some of the frost was more circular.

hoarfrost flake

I’m in awe of the shots that captured not only the growing crystals, but the perfect 6 sided snow flakes! On this winter hike, I did not mind that walking a mile felt like two.

flakes and hoarfrost

P.S. I hope you can be patient with the new look of my blog. WordPress has very limited graphic options compared to my iweb blogspace. With each new post I plan on improving the look and feel of this new blog space.


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  1. #1 by jeanie on March 7, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    First of all — absolutely adore the new blog and format. It’s a stunner.

    Of course, having these astounding photos is part of what makes it so! I gasped when I saw the frost in person, but it’s all the more beautiful here, as you capture in detail what I could only see as a broad stroke.

    Honestly, Christine, you always do splendid work, but I think you’ve outdone yourself here.

  2. #2 by Liana on March 7, 2011 - 3:50 pm

    Hi Christine,

    I really enjoy the larger images here – it’s feels like I am there more. The snowflakes are fantastic.

    Makes me wonder how the snowflakes would form if you played them music – what shapes would they take. Bit like Emoto and his water crystals.

    Just beautiful.


    • #3 by Christine M Young on March 10, 2011 - 10:51 am

      I love the idea of playing music to see how it affects nature!

  3. #4 by Amy on March 8, 2011 - 6:40 am

    so beautiful … i love your new blog christine, and your exquisite photos. you capture such magic, thank you for sharing with the world.

  4. #5 by Susan D on March 8, 2011 - 2:28 pm

    Christine…you are AmAzInG and I am so grateful to be on the receiving end of your sharing! I love you!

  5. #6 by Sharon Stasney on March 9, 2011 - 10:54 am

    I was reading this morning about emergent structures in midlife transformations. Seeing your photos reminded me that there is no set way for new structures or snowflakes to emerge, the new creation must develop itself. Each of your snowflakes were so amazingly different, even though they all share the same six-sided structure. Makes me breathless to think of what novelties lay in store for my post-menopausal adult self. 🙂

    • #7 by Christine M Young on March 10, 2011 - 10:57 am

      I too am fascinated by the menopausal change we get to experience, so interesting that the flakes reminded you of this. Thanks so much for stopping by & commenting on my new blogspace!

  6. #8 by Hilary on March 9, 2011 - 7:38 pm

    Just beautiful. These photos are amazing. I have often seen photos of hoarfrost but have never seen it for myself up close and personal. Thanks for sharing these images.

    • #9 by Christine M Young on March 10, 2011 - 10:54 am

      Hilary, thanks for stopping by my new blogspace 🙂 It’s fun to be able to share again! I’ve never seen hoarfrost this close either, I’m amazed what my camera can do.

  7. #10 by Cy on March 13, 2011 - 12:51 pm

    Christine, I’m loving your new blog, and am continually amazed and inspired by your forays into the world. The pic of the cardinal on the wire is fantastic, and the ladybug must be a tough little creature…wonder where she sleeps at night, out there in the cold. 🙂

  8. #11 by Sheila on March 14, 2011 - 12:49 pm

    You’ve made me realize I should “stop and smell the roses’ much more than I do.But @ least I am doing it and loving it thru your blog.


  9. #12 by Tammie on March 16, 2011 - 12:12 pm

    you have captured some lovely magic in your images!

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