Whilst I am not a fan of the long, dark & cold days of winter I do love those occasional bright mornings where the sun is shining yet the air is still bitingly cold. It is both invigorating and beautiful and creates the perfect conditions for frost to form.
As the ground temperature drops below freezing, water vapor or dew on surfaces freezes to form tiny ice crystals.
Heading out early, the sun had not quite risen above the horizon, yet to cast it’s warmth over the land meaning it was still bitterly cold, my hands soon numb beneath my gloves. Crunching through the frozen grass I scoured the ground and foliage for the most interesting and beautiful frost formations to photograph.
Frost is a fascinating subjects as it create a wide variety of shapes and patterns depending on the texture and variations of the surface on which it occurs. Here on the rounded edge of clover leaves, the frost had formed small rounded crystals on the smooth green leaves.
In contrast among the thistles, the frost had also formed a more spiky texture as moisture froze on the hairy surface.
Whilst frost is clearly striking to the naked eye, you can only truly appreciate it’s intricate beauty when viewed under magnification. By using a macro extension tube on my standard lens, tiny patterns and structures were revealed, previously almost invisible to the naked eye.
A thistle’s spines may protect them from being eaten, but they offer little protection from the harshness of winter.
Although very beautiful, a very harsh frost can damaging to plants as the water in their cells also freezes. Fortunately the delicate daisies are hardier than they look and they can usually survive these cold snaps.
As the sun rose higher and the temperature warmed the thaw began. Frozen ice crystals began to melt, the tiny droplets clinging on and sparkling like diamonds in the light.
Within what felt like moments, all the ice had disappeared without a trace and I returned indoors to thaw out my own frozen extremities!
All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2019 ©
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