Winter Fantasy Land


Colorado has been on the edge of the extreme cold that has gripped the eastern half of the country this winter. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/01/08/united-states-climate-2014-tale-two-regions/#more-9604  That means that we’ve had more of a Midwestern kind of a winter than the Midwest has, complete with ice storms.

This morning, we woke up to a winter fantasy land, west of Denver, where I live. A perfect combination of 100% humidity, 32 degrees and a breath of wind let fog condense into rime ice over night. The ice spicules covered the trees in crystals an inch and a half long. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/01/13/frosty-day/#more-9671

Ice crystals grew overnight and covered the trees.

Ice crystals grew overnight and covered the trees.

You can see how the crystals patiently added onto each other.

You can see how the crystals patiently added onto each other.

I went out to photograph them around 9:00 am, while it was still just below freezing. An hour later, the sun came out and added just enough energy to make the ice crystals sparkle like diamonds before they melted.

The ice caught the sunlight for a few minutes before it warmed enough to melt.

The ice caught the sunlight for a few minutes before it warmed enough to melt.

The sunlight back lit these crystals of rime ice beautifully. You can see the ice crystals beginning to get rounded and melt.

The sunlight back lit these crystals of rime ice beautifully. You can see the ice crystals beginning to get rounded and melt.

ice spicules-23-1_edited-1

An hour later, all the ice had melted and the fantasy land returned to the everyday.

About coloradogeography

Amy Law is a second-generation Coloradoan with a passion for her native state. This translated into a Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Colorado State University, and continues as a lifelong fascination with how people and nature interact. From family vacations in the station wagon to travel for work, she's covered the state, and everywhere she goes, she finds new things to see and ideas to explore.
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