We are always delighted with the onset of winter, a time of the year when we get the opportunity to experience some amazing effects of weather. Hoar frost is one of those phenomena that makes winter on the prairies so magical.
There are several online sources that offer an explanation of Hoar Frost (or radiation frost). Hoarfrost refers to white ice crystals, loosely deposited on exposed objects or the ground, that form on cold, clear nights when heat losses (infrared radiation) into the open skies cause objects to a temperature which is colder than the dewpoint of the air next to the surface. Frost is frozen water that has condensed from some of the water vapour contained in the air.
Hoarfrost in Riding Mountain National Park provides great photographic opportunities for hikers, snowshoers, or wildlife viewers. It tastes wonderful on your tongue. It brings to life the magic of nature. What I love about this kind of natural phenomenon is that some of the best things in tourism are not “things”; they are discoveries of the ordinary in your backyard. We take it for granted. Our guests, however, are looking for just this kind of extra-ordinary discovery.
I look forward to introducing our visitors over the next few months to more of the special ways to experience Riding Mountain – a season of hoarfrost, snowshoeing, night-sky “star stitching”, wolf howling, tracking animal “Stories in the Snow”, and many more snowy delights.