How to classify snow crystals

February 14th, 2010
According to Edward LaChapelle’s Field Guide to Snow Crystals (1969), the most widely used classification for falling ice is a system of 10 types from the International Commission on Snow and Ice, which came out in 1951. A few years later, ice… more »

I am a giant snow crystal, imperfect thing of habit, bouncing along life's gusts,...

February 6th, 2010
Some reviewers of The Story of Snow mistakenly call me the main author. I don't know why they make that mistake - Mark's role as the main author is clearly implied by his copyright  on the dedications page and elsewhere. My role was just to check the… more »

Ripples

February 5th, 2010
Ripples in still water When there is no pebble tossed Nor wind to blow - Grateful Dead “Ripple” I don’t know where to start on this one. For some time I’ve been seeing concentric circular patterns on car windshields and car bodies – bands of white… more »

Mystery of Whirlpool Hollows

February 3rd, 2010
I’ve seen this whirlpool pattern on two mornings on the same plastic side-mirrors of the same car. The hollow columnar crystals are oriented lengthwise along concentric circles, which strongly suggests that an underlying film froze with the same… more »

BEDFISH: Revising an old Idea for Classifying Surface Ice Forms

January 31st, 2010
It often seems like people refer to any kind of ice stuck on something as frost. If one looks in books or the Internet, one can usually find a specific term for the many different and interesting ice formations, but a term used by one group of people… more »

Like Seashells at a Seashore

January 30th, 2010
This morning it just barely dipped below freezing, the first time in several days. Off I went to the usual black cars. And once again the frost to me looked like things I’d seen before. I decided to take a few pictures anyway, and once again I was… more »

Ice on the Rocks

January 27th, 2010
On the morning of December 7 of 2008, I saw a small yet distinct white patch on the ground amongst the dirty brown crunchy soil-ice columns in a rice field. If I hadn’t been looking straight at it, I would have missed it. Crouching down and clearing… more »

Eyes and Dry Moats

January 22nd, 2010
Though I appreciate seeing the old and familiar, when I venture outside on frosty mornings, I usually see at least three unexpected things. Three unexpected things before breakfast. A few days ago, the frost at first appeared more hoary than curvy, but… more »

The Maltese Cross in Pond Ice

January 21st, 2010
A few days after my encounter with the pawprints and grey muck, one of the ponds did freeze over. After me and my camera spent about 30 minutes admiring this rare event, I went and ruined the complete glaze job by punching a hole in it. Although the top… more »

Strange Pawprints in the Ice

January 15th, 2010
On account of the recent cold spell, I went up the hill behind us in search of a glazed-over pond. Ponds can have interesting freezing patterns and, if the ice is thick enough, a little excitement. I've never seen these ponds freeze, but then again,… more »