Monday, October 24, 2011
Frost Or Frozen Dew
2011 has been a year of unusual weather. October is nearly gone and we are still waiting for our first frost. Today found a bluebird giving a nest box a solid look. Neither of these events are what we would normally expect this late.
We awoke to find white grass and valley fog. Our immediate question was did it frost? Fog would seem to indicate no frost. We definitely had a freeze.
That we had an overnight freeze was obvious. The granular deposits on this Gloriosa daisy are ice crystals not frost. Ice formed when the dew on the flower froze. Frost forms when water vapor moves directly from a gas to a solid. Here the vapor condensed to a liquid then froze.
Patterns on the catnip leaf immediately grab the attention of the eye but look to the blades of grass to see frozen water droplets.
Beads of ice coat the web. Finding a spider web coated with water droplets is a common summer experience. Seeing those droplets frozen is not so common. Just click on the picture to get a better look. Most of the day that followed was sunny and clear. Cleaning some the planting beds of all vegetation was a pleasant task. While we were doing this a mature female marsh hawk flew two lazy low circles overhead. This is what October days are supposed to look like. Then the rain came.