Ice whiskers

This was a new phenomenon to me. Walking into work today, everything was covered with these long whiskers of ice, typically close to 2cm long.

We’ve stayed below freezing for the last few days, and also we’ve had freezing fog every morning, which I presume feeds some peculiar crystallization process. It looks cool, anyway.

This afternoon when I was walking home I saw that they hadn’t melted, but were gradually falling off the trees as a very gentle snow.


  1. says

    You have never seen freezing fog in Minnesota? That is interesting. We have these every year, although not always this big.

  2. fergl says

    Have you seen ice hair? Looks even more amazing. Threads of Xpiopsis effusa fungus get covered in ice at just below freezing. Forms beautiful beard like formations. Forms on rotting wood.

  3. Tethys says

    That is some enormous hoarfrost. It gives the bare branches a lovely winter wonderland quality.

    Minnesota is usually too cold in January for freezing fog. We usually have hoarfrost in November, before the real cold and snow arrive. There has been snow on the ground since mid November, and this current weather of hovering around the freezing point is a warm up for Minnesota.

  4. festersixohsixonethree says

    Very large hoarfrost! And I’ve never heard of it just falling from the trees.
    Where I grew up (the border of PA and NY) hoarfrost always melted as soon as the sunlight touched it.
    It was quite a marvelous sight to watch and entire valley of hoarfrost melt as the sun rose!

  5. birgerjohansson says

    If the air humidity exceeds 100% in low temperatures you can get lovely frost formations.
    If the air humdity is low, you can actually dry your clothes outdoors.
    And If you get a long time of low temperature and low humidity, dead bodies can auto-mummify, getting dehydrated. If you go to the Antarctic you can find seal bodies long inland, dead for thousands of years since the coast was further inland.

  6. Numenaster, whose eyes are up here says

    Freezing fog is so pretty! One time we were driving home to Oregon from California on I-5, which takes you through a lot of mountains. Passing through the high elevation valleys, the hoar frost was present on everything that was in shadow and gone from everything in sunlight. There was a layer of frosty vegetation 3 feet deep, and everything else was bare. It was beautiful and surreal.