Sunday, February 7, 2016
Nature holds so many surprises for those lucky enough to explore her daily gift shop. Darlene just happened to be a lucky voyeur one cold early morning at Grand Lake. Outside, the normally brown grasses of fall and winter sparkled with tiny bouquets of flowers resembling cotton candy or spun glass.
With camera in hand she stepped out among these natural beauties that seem to be found where tickweed grows. This tickly plant, known more as a nuisance because of its seed ticks, is sometimes called frostweed (Verbesinia virginica) or Indian tobacco. Unseen and unknown by most of us, at a perfect time of weather changes these tiny little weeds create delicate ice sculptures we call Frost Flowers.
The science seems fairly simple. When the ground temperature is still warm enough for the plants root system to be active, with juices flowing upwards, and the air temperature drops below freezing, then the moisture in the plant freezes, and ice crystals push out through the stem. Nature keeps her gift shop open for these ethereal crystals
Nature's Gift Shop is Open.
Other sites to visit for more information on Frost Flowers:
Thank you Darlene Bowline for sharing your story and photos of these fragile creations by Mother Nature.