At 11°F it was the coolest morning of the young winter. And no, 11° isn’t really cold in spite of what the TV weather people may say. To people who spend their working lives indoors 11° may be cold, but people who work outdoors in northern winters – the loggers, linemen, farmers and others – work when it’s much colder.
In any event, with a brilliant blue sky and a gentle breeze this was a great morning for a walk in the Big Woods. Around the house the dusting of snow that recently fell was already gone, but in the Big Woods on a gentle north-facing slope there was still a little snow on the ground.
A bit of water seeping from a tiny spring combined with the temperature produced frost crystals, resembling feathers, on objects near the water. On twigs –
And fallen leaves –
And bits of wood –
The inside of a hollow rotten stump bore large numbers of those frost feathers near the top, but lower in the stump it was apparently too warm for the crystals to form –
What an abundance of frost feathers were in the stump –
And then there was the moss-covered rock in the stream – covered with frost feathers –
11° may not be really cold, but it’s cool enough to cause frost feathers to form and add an ephemeral beauty to the natural world; a beauty that will vanish as the temperature rises.