Frost Flowers are Missed by Many

| 11/25/2008 4:54:00 PM

Tags: hunting, nature, forests, outdoors,

The feeling I get when heading out into the woods before the sun has risen is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I feel a combination of anticipation, nervousness, hope, and usually a little bit of fatigue, since it’s right around 5:30 in the morning when I’m heading out to my stand.

For a hunter going out in the morning or evening, anything can happen. It could be the hunt you’ve been waiting your whole life for, or you could fall out of a tree (or some other unfortunate accident could befall you) and wreck your whole hunting career.

What shouldn’t change, though, is that you spend every minute out in the wilderness observing. One of my favorite things to do when I’m not seeing deer and allowing my mind to wander is to watch the squirrels, a habit I began because they trigger noise all through the forest, noise that can initially be mistaken for animals of prey.

While sitting out there, I try to be still enough that either a squirrel or bird perches on some part of my body. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve always thought that if that happens I’m doing everything correctly as far as my tactics, behavior and movement in the tree, or rather the lack thereof.

Anyway, I saw a blog this morning about the natural occurrence of frost flowers during this time of year. I’d always seen frost flowers and wondered how they are created.

As Patsy Bell Hobson explains, frost flowers only occur when temperatures fall to freezing before the ground has become frozen for the winter. The whole occurrence depends on water still moving up through the plant while sap freezes and makes a crack in the stem, allowing the water moving through the stem to slowly seep out of the crack (capillary action) and form very thin, petal-looking ice formations. She has several beautiful photos in that blog entry, and it was cool to read about what I’ve seen so many times, and why it was happening.

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