11 December 2011

HUNTING FOR ICE BLOOMS

Yesterday was nice and sunny after a morning of dense fog. When the fog rolls in around here it is complete whiteout and not very uplifting. The nice thing about it is that I know a phenomenon is taking place that will make for some fun with the camera, hoar frost.

Hoar frost occurs when the air has gobs of moisture in it and the temperature is below freezing. When the moisture freezes crystal blooms literally form on the frozen surfaces of lakes and ponds. If the frost is big enough the entire forest turns into a crystal palace. Kind of like a scene from Dr. Zhivago.

As soon as the fog lifted and the sun came out I grabbed up my gear and headed for the pond.  Sure enough there were some small blooms upon the surface. These crystals aren't easy to photograph. It's difficult to get good definition. After an hour and a half of trying I wasn't able to get much more than an image that will at least convey to you what I am talking about when I say ice blooms. The air temperature was 18 degrees F and that kinda cold eats up camera batteries very fast.

What I call Ice Blooms

In the image above the ice crystals formed on larch needles but these blooms can form all by themselves creating some absolutely delicate and exquisite crystal flowers. It's not even officially winter yet so hopefully I'll have more chances to get something that lights my candle.

I did get one image that I liked. Ice flowers had formed on stalks of last summer's grass. The stalks were leaning over the dark waters of a brook which gives the appearance of a starry sky.

I just love taking photographs like this. They make me feel as though I am looking at a world within a world. Nature creates so many incredibly interesting things. It's like traveling in inner space and fascinates the dickens out of me.



PS: In case you missed it and you live where winters are winters please check out this post. A fall on ice could really mess up your life. Micro Spikes

©Kinsey Barnard

1 comment:

Archetypes India said...

Nature’s marvels! "Ice Blooms" - so appropriate. You also give me some insights into your homestead. Thanks. And yes, I remeber scenes from Dr. Zhivago.