Thursday, January 17, 2013

Days of diamonds

Yesterday was a clear day, one of several we've been having. This means we start out cold (10F at dawn) but we warmed up to a balmy 30F by afternoon. And on these clear days, we're blessed with hoarfrost.

Hoarfrost happens when the ground is chilled below the dew point of the air.

What it means is everything -- every least little twig or branch or piece of grass -- has a soft fragile crystalline deposit on it. It is unspeakably beautiful.

So I took a lot of photos yesterday, unable to resist. Sadly photographs just don't do the landscape justice when it comes to hoarfrost.

We got a little bit of color in the early morning sky.

Before the sun rose, the cattle waited patiently to be fed.

The beasties usually get a bit of hoarfrost on their backs, but mostly their body warmth melts it.

As the sun rose, shafts peeked through and illuminated things. I liked this photo so much I thought about putting it on the blog masthead.

Some branches against a clear sky.

Treetops lit up.

The rising sun, seen through the woods.

Some light ground fog crept through.

Lydia in the yard.

Hoarfrost is pretty obvious when Major brushes against a branch.

After the sun fully rose, every tree branch stood out in white-coated splendor. This is where photographs just don't doesn't do justice to the scenery.

The hoarfrost is still on the closer items, but already melted on the distant hills, which are in full sunlight.

By evening the hoarfrost was gone, but Lydia caught a shaft of sunlight in the yard and looked pretty durn sparkly.

Alpenglow on the distant mountains.


Yep, a pretty day from start to finish.


  1. You live in such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing the photographs.

  2. You need, seriously NEED to do a photo book or calendar! "A Year on the Farm" or something. Your photos are GORGEOUS!

  3. Thank you for the photos of the sun! Here in Portland, Or. we have been under a dense fog for days on end. My favorite photo is of Lydia in a shaft of sunlight. I would like to see that one as a masthead. They are all beautiful.JB

  4. Patrice,

    I agree with Lamb above. Beautiful photographs of your homestead and areas surrounding.

  5. Beautiful pictures.
    So thankful the sun is shining to warm up the animals.

  6. Beautiful! I imagine there was a lot of sparkling going on when the sun came up. Down here in Georgia we've had a lot of rain lately, and the raindrops hanging off of pine needles look like diamonds, too.

  7. You're right, photos just don't do hoarfrost justice, but you did a very good job trying, they're beautiful.

  8. I read somewhere that the English language is blessed by being so all-encompassing that you always find the "right" descriptive word. As I look at your photos and imagine what it might be like to see what you see in real life, I think that I might find words wholly inadequate to describe the breath-taking beauty. Then I remember that sometimes, if we are very lucky and paying attention, God grants us with a tiny glimpse, a sliver of absolute perfection and you can finally understand His admonition to "be still and know that I am God."

    1. What a wonderful comment you've composed. I thought just the experience of looking at these glimmering photos was enough, but your words made them even more beautiful.

      Hoarfrost - if you've never been lucky enough to see it - makes an entire winter of otherwise bleakness completely worth it!

      Just Me

    2. I completely agree! The comment above was like the gossamer bow on a beautifully-wrapped gift!

  9. I enjoyed similar scenery driving today from Medford to Grants Pass - Just beautiful. Thanks for the pictures and the definition of hoarfrost. I told my daughter on the phone the other day that when I stepped outside in the early morning, the hoarfrost up on the foothills was beautiful. She's in Florida - never heard the term and laughed at me. What did you say? Hoarfrost, I said. Well, I didn't know the actual definition, just that it was a bunch of frost, but not snow covering everything. Of course, she took off in the other direction with the word Hoar - but this is a family column so I'll leave it at that!! Hehehehehe......

    1. Oooh, our old stomping grounds! We used to live up Sardine Creek Road outside of Gold Hill. Wave for us next time you pass.

      - Patrice

    2. I thought you had lived around here - I'll have to check out Sardine Creek Road - not a name to forget!!

    3. I will check out Sardine Creek Road sometime - not a name to forget!! My brother drop-boxed me similar pictures from his Central Virginia
      farm - they rarely get snow but got it yesterday it is beautiful. Thanks again for sharing. Someone mentioned you should do a calendar. I would buy one........

  10. You were right ...been waiting for the beautiful snow photos...thanks! I can't pick a fav...all fab.

  11. I would buy a calendar!

  12. You are blessed. I love your photographic documentation of your life

  13. Oh,me, you live in such a beautiful place! I am so happy that you share some of that gorgeousness with us.

  14. I am moved to tears with the beauty. Thank you for sharing your world.

  15. Thank you for sharing your photos. Not only are you in a wondrous and beautiful location, but you are a talented photographer. You capture things so well.

  16. Stunning photos; how can one have anything but a fabulous day when they are surrounded by such beauty? Diamonds in the snow, fresh air, life stirring about...

    We occasionally get hoarfost here, but what the frost I miss the most was the window frost that my daddy always said Jack Frost made when he breathed on them. I love the fern like pattern and would be terribly upset if one of my brothers used their hands to warm up the glass and make it disappear! Now that single pane windows have been replaced in most homes, window frost is a rare thing. It was the silver lining "gift" we were given back in the "good ole days" when the cold arrived.


  17. How many times I drove down the interstate to work in the city, all grouchy with the crazy traffic, then somehow looked up and saw a beautiful gift of His (like your beautiful shots). And the world was right again, all back in perspective.

    brenda from ar