Thursday, December 8, 2005

Jack's Promiscuous Sister

Posted by Kirk

Jack Frost has a promiscuous sister. Hoar Frost. Okay, terrible joke but that time of year has arrived. Hoar frost appeared overnight and it was beautiful. It wasn't a total cover but pretty good. At work it was only the tree tops so no pretty pictures to post. Hoar means hairy, thus we end up with plants called Hoary Puccoon. Hoar frost is a hairy like covering that appears on trees, grasses, fences, and phone lines overnight. Think of it as the winter version of dew. Okay, I admit, the winter version of dew is rime ice but gimme a break.

Supersaturated air, i.e. more than 100% saturated with water, sublimates directly onto cold surfaces making beautiful crystaline structures. Later in the day the wind can blow hoar frost off the trees and make it look like it is snowing. The "snowflakes" in the photo above are actually "hoarflakes" I caught as they fell from the tops of the trees. The featherlike structure was amazing. The photo really doesn't do it justice since the camera is terrible at macro shots.