Winter’s Silver Lining

At this point of winter, we Northerners look for silver linings.

Many are the reasons to pity the poor Southerners, but one presented its silver self this morning.

Freezing fog and the delicate, sparkling rime it leaves behind.

I’m no meteorologist and I would have to look up the specific conditions that give us freezing fog, but Northerners know it is distinct from garden-variety frost.

In its wake, freezing fog leaves the most delicate fuzz of crystals on the entire outdoors. Every tree and twig and dried weed and fence post is enrobed so they all appear a bit softened, muted, as if behind a scrim.

(If you click on the photos, you can count the little spikes of ice!)

The temperature rises a degree or two, the sun comes out, and it’s gone. Winter is cold and a little bleak and hard-edged again. 

But we had our silver lining for a moment . . . and that counts for a lot during winter.

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It’s the Rime of the Season

Say what you will about winter, about the cold and inconvenience and the lack of daylight hours. I still think winter provides more chances for dramatic and remarkable beauty than any other season.

We know what the loveliness of the other seasons look like but only winter can provide the unusual spectacle of a swirling, freezing steam off a lake that is warm only when compared with the temperature of the air.

IMG_1801And then, after a really cold night and a freezing fog, the world is covered in rime.

IMG_3151Every detail, encased and outlined in ice crystals. (Click any photo for the full detail!)

It’s all subtle and monochromatic and understated and stunning.

It’s winter–what will today bring?