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:
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