Crystalline flowers flow across the storm windows in our north-facing bathroom. In this subzero weather, the moisture from our steamy morning showers seeps through the old, loose-fitting decorative windows and condenses as frost on the cold glass panes that cover the screens. The patterns that take shape depend on the amount of dirt, scratches and residue on the glass, and the humidity level and temperature of the air. These patterns are often called frost flowers, roses or ferns.
According to Halldor Svavarsson at the Icelandic Web of Science the most commonly formed pattern of crystallization is hexagonal because it requires the least amount of energy. If the moisture settles and freezes quickly, the roses will be small and close together. If not, the roses may be fewer in number, larger in size and may spread out on the glass.
Frost roses and ferns are delicate and lovely, but I prefer nature’s wildflowers. Here are a few from last summer:
© Beth and Nature, Garden, Life, 2013-2014. All photographs and text are created by Beth unless specifically noted otherwise. Excerpts and links may be used as long as full and clear credit is given to Beth and Nature, Garden, Life with specific direction to the original content. Please do not use or duplicate material from Nature, Garden, Life without written permission from Beth.
Isn’t it cool that the frost flowers allow their delicate beauty to speak to the longing in all of us for winter to end soon!!! I love to see your incredible photography and catch a glimpse of the many things I would otherwise miss. Thank you for lending me your eyes! You are bringing beauty back into my days when I need it most. Getting to work in the dark and leaving in the dark is no fun.
Thank you, Lisa. Yes, the frost flowers are beautiful. I’m glad they brought you some joy on this bitterly cold day. Hang in there! –Beth
These are beautiful! I especially like the curly-looking “leaves.” Are those called ferns?
I’m glad that you like them! Yes, the slender, feathery ones are the frost ferns. Thanks!
I so enjoy your posts.
Hi Connie, I’m glad that you are enjoying them and thanks for following my blog!
Just beautiful, Beth. Last weekend I introduced 3.5 year old Lukas to the delicate tracery that Jack Frost left on our windows. Thank You!
It is so wonderful that you are helping young Lukas to discover the beauty in nature! Thanks for reading my blog.
Beautiful Beth. I love your explanations too. “It depends on how much dirt and scratches.” The poetry of the picture. The pragmatism of the explanation. So how much dirt is there? 🙂
There’s enough dirt to allow nature to create many “works of art”! 🙂 Thanks, Cathy.