This morning, I woke up to a Riding Mountain world that was magically transformed. The aspen trees were thick with hoarfrost, almost like “winter leaves”. Instead of being able to see through the forest at this time of the year, we were looking at a magical forest of snow crystals. A combination of weather conditions (In an earlier post, I explained the origin of hoarfrost).
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 cool 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.
The birds at the feeder, the trees themselves and the entire landscape was transformed. I am going snowshoeing today into this forest of hoarfrost. It’s kind of like a real-world pocket of some part of Lord of The Rings.