Fog by–12C creates amazing structures

21 Dec 2012

Whenever the weather man announces fog in winter, I am on the lookout for some spectacular images. It's not always that the effect occurs, but most of the time it does.

Hoarfrost

Then it depends on the morning light, sunshine and wind to offer a small window of opportunities for hoarfrost photography. This time I got lucky…

Hoarfrost occurs when temperatures are well below freezing point with a cold, moist air that produces fog. The fog droplets are then so cold that they turn into ice crystals whenever they hit something.

Hoarfrost

Usually you will find it on trees, pine trees, but also on wrought iron fences or anything else that is cold enough to sustain the low temperatures. Undercooled water creates ice on anything it hits.

Hoarfrost

So here is a small collection of pictures of hoarfrost that occurred in Winnipeg this weekend. Usually, hoarfrost is very fragile and blows off with any wind or just melts with a little sunshine.

Hoarfrost

This weekend, we got neither in Winnipeg. The frosty crystals are still on the trees. Well over two days now. Any breeze will blow away the crystals.

Hoarfrost

Hoarfrost grows on anything, from plants, trees and spider webs to metal fences. While some wind will blow away the crystals, there was some airflow during the formation of them. As you can see, the crystals only formed on one side of this fence.

Hoarfrost

In the afternoon, while usually the frost is already long gone, I decided to go to Birds Hill Park and try my luck over there. Many of the formations close by were damaged by walkers, runners and animals.

Hoarfrost

But sometimes you can still get lucky and try out your 300mm lens to get closer to a spot where nobody has yet set a foot. In winter you don’t expect any leaves on trees, but some trees seem to be pretty attached to them and don’t let them fall until next spring.

Hoarfrost

The dried out leaves are now a great target for hoarfrost. There must have been some wind or air movement here, the crystals were pretty dense, nothing like the wild rime crystals.

Hoarfrost

Birds Hill Park in winter also offers lots of snowy places. The above leaves were topped off with some snow as well, I liked the combination.

No picnic todayNo picnic today

As for the usual barbecuers and picnickers, there were none. All was for the lonely photographer and his camera, the walkers with their dogs or with their fancy sporting outfits. No picnics this weekend…

Going into a forest while hoarfrost is still there is magical; all is quiet, not even wind or birds to disturb the calmness of the forest.