It’s a flocculent sort of day

It was snowing lightly this morning, with relatively little wind, and the flakes just seemed to have a kind of magnetic attraction to the trees. So instead of our usual landscape with skeletal black branches everywhere, we got blue skies and black skeletons limned with crystalline white.


It was actually much more spectacular earlier this morning, when I was off on a walk, and I took these pictures around noon, when the sun was beginning to melt away some of the effect. But here are some branches that were in the shade and still had the full laciness.



  1. blf says

    “It’s a flocculent sort of day” — I first read that as Foucault and was wondering if this was National Pendulum Day or something… and then wondered if the celebrations went on for longer the lower the latitude.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    Back in college, I was driving home from UW-Milwaukee with my girlfriend along the lakefront one winter afternoon. There had been a recent storm and every stationary object along the way had been thoroughly coated with ice. At one point, the sun came out and for a moment the dark, dreary, skeletal trees transformed into glorious, fractal spires of shining crystal.

    I was astonished by the radiant beauty of the whole scene. My girlfriend’s response was “meh.”

  3. dick says

    Akira, we experienced the same phenomenon a week ago, after some freezing drizzle. The tree in our back yard glittered brilliantly in the near-horizontal sunlight. It lasted two days. Beautiful!

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I saw this frequently back when I lived in Dah YooPee. If the Lake Superior lake effect daily snow came down without wind, it would stick to the trees like that.

  5. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Looks a bit like hoar frost to me rather than snow… Although maybe there’s some snow on top of the hoar frost.

  6. says

    I’m rather jealous. It hasn’t snowed here at all this winter, and the ski resorts are in serious trouble. Apparently it’s an unusually strong El Niño.