Frozen Flora – the Season of the Frost Flower

The hills of the Ozarks are a wet place. Rain water becomes spring water or ground water as it passes through our limestone karst topography. As it gets colder out the bluffs leach out this water in the form of icicles. On the ground below the bluffs the water trapped inside the stalks of tall plants expands. This ice takes on amazing forms – frost flowers appear at the bases of these plants. They appear on mornings where the temps are below freezing and disappear as the temperature rises.

It’s been unseasonably cold for a few days. I have been lighting a fire most evenings to warm up the old Stonehouse. This kind of sustained cold is more common in January or February. This morning when I took a look at the forecast I thought that even though it’s a couple of months early, the conditions were right. I packed up my macro lens and hit the highway. I had to slog through some semi frozen mud, but is it was worth it. Fields and fields of frosty blossoms.

I used a macro light on the super close-ups and a flash on a couple of shots. I wish I had taken the tripod, but the white light of an overcast day let me shoot fast enough to get away without it.

Click through and get a sense of the flower and the intricate shapes that make them up. I’m off to the kitchen to make some hot apple cider. Stay warm.

32 thoughts on “Frozen Flora – the Season of the Frost Flower

  1. Pingback: Frost Flowers – It is the Season! | Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Presents…

  2. Pingback: Frost grows.. | Inky's Pen

    • Thanks Robin, I think they may be unique to the Ozarks. I never noticed them until someone asked me how to photograph them – from your car they look like paper or litter on the roadside.

  3. Absolutely fascinating. I’ve never heard, or seen, of this before.
    Thanks for sharing images of this amazing phenomenon.

  4. These are amazing! Pardon me for asking, are these frozen flowers or the frost itself? Sometimes my eyes don’t work. 😦

  5. I could take some of that hot apple cider about now. Brrrr. Those photos are fascinating! Mother Natures is so full of amazing things. So cool (pun intended) Lorri!

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