Monday, December 11, 2017

It's a winter wonderland here...

It's a winter wonderland here ... because of weather conditions that have given us lots of hoar-frost here for the past few days.  I took the photos below yesterday morning, but this morning it looks just like that.  When the fog clears (generally around noon), for an hour or so we have brightly lighted frosted trees (and irrigation pipes, fences, cars, etc.) everywhere in the valley.  We look out the window of our home, or from our car as we drive, and marvel at the beauty all around us.  We've seen this occasionally in the past, but this morning makes the fifth or sixth morning in a row with these sights all around us.  We're driving to Tremonton this morning to pick up our granite shelves, and we're expecting to see this all the way there.

The word “hoar” is derived from the Old English word meaning “venerable” or “august”, itself derived from an Old High German word of similar meaning.  It's pronounced identically to the word “whore” – a word with a notably different meaning.  Last year, while on a drive with a good friend here – a Mormon woman, about 45 years old – I mentioned the beauty of the hoarfrost.  She was absolutely shocked, and could not bring herself to say the word – much to the amusement of Debbie and I.  We found out last week that after that conversation, she went home and looked up the word – she was skeptical of my explanation. :)  This year, she's able to say the word – as now she's certain that I'm not playing a trick on her!

I took the photos below yesterday – the first batch before the fog cleared, the second batch after.  The last photo is a bit different: it shows the shadow of my car on our driveway pavement.  Before the sun broke through, the entire driveway was covered with hoar-frost.  After the sun broke through, the frost on all the unshaded parts of the driveway sublimated within a few minutes.  If you look in the shaded part of that photo, you'll see that the frost is still there – as it is in a thin band around the edge of the shadow, where the frost was so recently exposed to the sun that it had not yet sublimated.  You could measure the time of sublimation by measuring the width of that band and doing a little math, but I didn't think of that in time to make the measurement...

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