Sunday, January 7, 2018

Biggest Hoarfrost Crystals I've Ever Seen

Like everybody, I've seen my share of frost crystals. But these might be the most amazing.

We were walking along the Upper Truckee River one chilly morning. The air was cold and the ground was colder. Apparently, the flowing water had just enough heat in it to loft lots of water vapor into the air. When that vapor hit the cold air over the ground, the water molecules condensed out in a nice orderly fashion, linking elbows with the molecules that came before them. These built up in beautiful crystal formations. 

What was a surprise was the size. Many of these crystals were two or more inches long. And they grew into large, flat leaves, for lack of a better word. Hard to capture with my phone camera.

The hoarfrost crystals made beds that looked like they'd be comfortable to lie down on. The total area was in the range of 10 feet by 50 feet.

Here, I tried to reach my fingers behind the big crystals. But of course, as soon as I got close, the heat from my hand melted the crystals.

Nature can certainly serve up some serious beauty!

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