It had been another cold winter’s night and the temperature was below zero. The air was still and a coating of frost had formed on the tree branches and leaves that were along the lake’s shoreline. Slowly the sun rose across the frozen lake. As it cleared the trees on the opposite shore it spread it’s golden light on the frost covered leaves and branches. They sparkled in the light for a brief time and then the warmth was too much and the frost melted. The wind picked up, rattling the remaining brittle leaves in the wind as the sun continued it’s arc in the bright sky.
I awoke last weekend to an amazing winter wonderland. The air was cold and still and everything was coated with white hoarfrost. The tree branches were outlined in frost, each individual leaf was outlined, and everything was shining white. I wandered the nearby roads and saw pine trees and shrubs, oak trees and weather vanes, all outlined in white. Even though our snow pack had gotten old and not-so-white, the hoarfrost brightened the entire landscape and gave it a magical look.
Last weekend was especially cold. Temperatures dropped and the wind blew. The snow that had fallen remained, and the lake was frozen. Walking along the shoreline, I saw this leaf resting on the ice. As the time went by I saw frost forming all along its edges, outlining it carefully as if Mother Nature was painting each crystal in its place – so delicate, and yet so very temporary too.
When the temperature is -26 degrees, the places that I will point my camera for interesting photographs becomes much more limited. As our multiple days of subzero temperatures bottomed out, I found myself inside looking out, through the beautiful patterns of frost on one of the windows. Intricate and fascinating, it was back-lit by a neighbor’s light in the distance. I found myself going from one side of the window to the next looking for patterns that would show the detail. And when I stepped back to see the pattern in full, it reminded me of the delicateness of a green fern. Within a few days our temperatures moderated and the winter beauty on this window evaporated by the welcome sun.