Hoarfrost coated South Whidbey Island this weekend, turning the world as sparkling white as a snowfall without the treachery. I don't remember ever seeing such exuberant, furry-looking frost. Turns out such thick ice crystals are known as hoarfrost - what an old-fashioned, poetic word for one of nature's most amazingly lovely phenomena. Here's the definition:
"Hoarfrost refers to the white ice crystals, loosely deposited on the ground or exposed objects, that form on cold clear nights when heat losses into the open skies cause objects to become colder than the surrounding air."
Such simple, scientific words fail to evoke how hoarfrost softens and transforms the world from dull and dark to glistening reflectivity...Here's the hoarfrost settled on a pot of sedum, a glass ball and a wooden table in my back garden in Langley about 10 a.m. this morning: