January 22, 2014

Delicate Patterns of Frost

The only things I miss from the old storm windows are the beautiful designs formed by frost, often obscuring the entire pane. The new double-glazed windows don't lend themselves to being frosted. This morning's temperature, however, was so cold at 20 below zero F, only rising to 0 later in the day, that very small patterns formed on the outer windows. Looking closely, the range of expression is marvelous, here feathers sweeping out from a central form, like a large headdress.
**Click to enlarge**

A streak like a contrail crossed the window, with shapes floating above and below as though released from it.

More graceful patterns, here reminding me of ferns.

This soft gathering of lines takes us underwater, to multi-branched corals swaying with the currents.

This design has an amusing aspect to me: the profile of a little hill topped by trees? figures? and "clouds" resting above it.

I love the fantasies these delicate bits of frost call up. When I look at this last image I imagine a creature moving along, head to the ground, many legs busy. But no, it is fixed in place for only a brief time, magically appearing and disappearing, one of nature's tiny wonders.


  1. Lovely patterns. Reminds me of my childhood when I would take my fingernail and scrape along the patterns. Brrrrr Makes me cold thinking about that.

    1. They are lovely, aren't they? though so much less than in our childhoods. I too remember running my finger along the patterns, but not with my nail, instead with the tip of a finger in order to melt lines in them.

  2. You always show us something to delight in. It ALMOST makes me wish for 20 below!