Thursday, January 6, 2011
A beautiful flower!
Alright, so my title is misleading because I'm not talking about a real flower. A couple days ago I was out birding and came upon the most beautiful sight. I would not have known what it was! Thankfully I had an older (and wiser) birding companion who told me it was a frost flower. It is just too cool of a scientific phenomenon for me not to share!!
A picture of a frost flower. So beautiful!!
This beautiful frost flower occurs when the ground is not frozen but a frost occurs. Long thin cracks form along the stem of a plant during freezing temperatures because the sap expands under these conditions. Capillary action causes this water to squeeze through the cracks and freeze when it comes in contact with the cold air. The layers, that form the flower, are caused by more and more water squeezing through the cracks and pushing the thin sheets of ice further away from the stem. If you find one of these awesome creations of nature just look at it and admire because they are fragile and will break if touched! They come in all different shapes and sizes, so every time you get a glance at one can be a surprise.
My field season has started and next week I will try and update you with Woodcock Wednesdays. I just wanted to share this beautiful creation of nature with you! Please stay tuned for more green whispers. :)