It's called "hoar frost", or in Latvian, sarma. I had only seen it before on a couple of occasions - a wintertime occurrence, where white ice crystals form on cold clear nights, due to heat loss into unclouded skies causing objects to become colder than the surrounding air. This last week we have had 4 or 5 continuous days of sarma - and I can safely say that it is one of the most insanely beautiful things I have ever seen mother nature pull out of her "bag of tricks". It is as if every single tree branch, twig, leaf, berry, has been dusted with a thick coating of bright, white ice - making each individual stem and stick a sculptural delight, and turning the whole world into a white, frosted celebration. This type of sarma doesn't happen every winter - but this winter seems colder than the previous few, and I can't help thinking that this is mother nature's way of apologizing for the appalling, dark dreariness that was October, November and December. I went for a walk today in bone chilling minus 13 and shot dozens of photographs, until my fingers began to burn and I had to seek shelter in a heated shop - below are some samples.

This ghostly landscape and the one of the berry covered in frost were taken by Jem on the previous day, when skies were grey.

So what else do you do in this kind of freezing weather on the weekend? Find the longest track of polished ice you can, of course, and go sliding down it on your bum, on your belly, or sitting on a sack, or sitting on your brother, or on a sled... whatever.

Checking out the slope

Even our renovator's delight is looking cheerful in the frost!

3 Responses so far.

  1. Alex says:

    These are stunning shots, and all these scenes look like they come from a fairy tale! I'm sure it helps that in some of them the sun is out. Sliding down the ice and snow looks like fun too.

  2. Fifee says:

    Fabulous photos. You know I want to come and stay at Xmas time. I keep saying it and one day I will. So stop teasing me. Although can I survive that sort of cold??? Xx

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