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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Frost Flowers

It is as beautiful as it is rare.  A frost flower is created on autumn or early winter mornings when ice in extremely thin layers is pushed out from the stems of plants or occasionally wood. This extrusion creates wonderful patterns which curl and fold into gorgeous frozen petioles giving this phenomenon both its name and its appearance.
Found on Pinterest   Kuriositas
Its not everyday at the ripe old age of 50+ or in hubby's case 60 that you come across something new..  You start to feel like everything is 'been there , done that' or anything else you may want to do or see is just too far out of reach or perhaps i'm having a pessimistic moment.... lol  BUT yesterday hubby and i had an experience.  

Driving to work early on a bitterly cold morning we started lamenting about the trash along the road... it looked like a bunch of shredded white plastic bags that went on for miles...  We said things like 'What a mess'... 'Thats gonna be a heck of a job to clean up' ... thinking it just came out of someones truck... I described the 'mess' to my boss at work and she laughed and said 'Noooo.. those are just frost flowers' and i said 'Noooo... it was trash!' and she said 'Noooo... ' well you get the idea... 

When hubby picked me up from work i told him and he said 'Noooo.....'  lol So we slowed down and looked closer.... 'Noooo... thats shredded plastic bags.....'  Finally we found a safe place to pull over and not until we walked over and touched them did we realized it was ice and not plastic..  Neither one of us had ever seen that.  They are amazing and now that i know they are not trash .. they are beautiful. 

"Frost flowers" are ribbons of frozen sap that form at the bases of certain plants during the first hard freezes in fall.
When do they appear?
Frost flowers occur only in late fall after the first few hard freezes and while the ground is still warm.
Their season is brief, and they disappear quickly on the day they occur, melting like frost when the air warms or rays of sunlight fall on the delicate structures.
How do they form?
While the plants’ stems are ruptured by the first hard freeze, the root system is still sending up plant sap from the warmer ground. The sap pushes through the broken stem and freezes on contact with the cold air. As more saps moves up, it forces the freezing stream of white ice crystals into ornate, folded ribbons that look like petals, puffs of cotton candy, or snarls of white thread.
Just amazing and now i'm curious... have you ever experienced this phenomenon ?  Hugs! deb

12 comments:

Divers and Sundry said...

I've never heard of this much less seen it. I'm learning something new :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

So beautiful, I have ever seen anything l like this Debs.

My name is Erika. said...

I am 55+ and I have never ever heard of frost flowers. But how cool! I love seeing the photo. And thanks for teaching me something new today. Hugs-Erika

Rita said...

I have heard of them and seen photographs of various types online but have never seen them in person. Frost can create gorgeous things! :)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

That's a cool thing to see! Frost Flowers is an appropriate name too.
Happy Thanksgiving
xx, Carol

Eileen Bergen said...

That's just beautiful, Deb. Never heard of frost flowers. The way they form is fascinating. I guess they need just the right combo of temperature changes to form. I wonder where else they occur. Thanks for sharing a new bit of Nature's beauty ;-)

CraftyViolet said...

No, I have never heard of frost flowers before and I've lived through 71 cold falls here in Ontario. They look beautiful. I wonder if its just certain plants that do this?

kathyinozarks said...

Yes we get them here along the driveway and I Love them-I totally forgot to look for them--when it's warm and you still have green in the plants and then it gets frigid cold-they make frost flowers-I had never heard of them til we moved here to Missouri-glad you found them too-hugs

kathyinozarks said...

I just checked on my old blog and found a slideshow I had made-just click on it and it and the slideshow will work http://kathyinozarks.blogspot.com/2012/12/ice-flowers-this-morning.html

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Hoping to catch up on belated visits, your "frost flowers" subject caught my eye. They are beautiful. I've never even heard of them before, but I'm super glad they are NOT plastic bags. Your photo is beautiful, Deb. What a great thing to learn today.

CJ Kennedy said...

I never heard of these. Amazing and weirdly beautiful. Happy T Day!

Sherry, BlackBerryBrambles said...

I haven't heard of these. How blessed to have seen something new. I am amazed at what life shows us when we take the time to look. Have a wonderful day.