Winter is here again, and the only way to enjoy it is to embrace it! What a better way than exploring the surrounding countryside, where every unexpected corner can offer many surprises; this time the rare and stunning frost flowers.
We had a beautiful weekend, with sunny skies, and itchy feet. Going for a stroll in the neighbourhood to capture the moment was my first thought in the morning, as the flawless white snow and the blue skies were beckoning to us.
Besides many ice formations observed on our way, I was totally taken by surprise when, approaching a small stream, I noticed these interesting emerging forms, bordering the small banks of snow.
Made of ice, the intricate frost flowers are very delicate, and can break easily. They are not seen very often, because they require a very specific combination of temperature, and humidity.
First, the wind speed must be very low, so the ice can ‘grow’ at a nice pace.
But you might wonder how the ice can ‘grow’? The answer is simple! The main reason is the very cold temperature.
When the temperatures drop below -15 degrees Celcius, the air becomes very dry. The dryness pulls the moisture off the small ice protuberances, tending to vaporize. But these water vapours don’t go far, because the freezing temperatures cause them freeze again, at the edge of the existing formation, so crystal by crystal, the vapours turn back into ice, forming these beautiful fern-like flower petals.
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