Seeing Things in the Frost

January 15th, 2012
In looking at the Cloud Appreciation Society's website recently, I started wondering; if they can have so much fun finding clouds that resemble various objects, why can't we do that for frost patterns? Awhile back, I posted frost that looked like an eye… more »

Fun with windshield ice

January 11th, 2012
In my last post, I pointed out that you can determine the crystal orientation in a film of ice by looking at hoar-frost that sprouts from its surface. Here's another way, but it only works if the ice is on glass. For example, here's ice on my… more »

Choppy waves

January 11th, 2012
I thought this hoar frost pattern looked like rough seas. I see choppy, cusp-like waves down there. Not having any pictures of rough seas, I hopped in our bathtub and kicked my legs around to make waves. Perhaps you can see a little resemblance.… more »

Book Signing at the Kalamazoo Nature Center

November 30th, 2011
On Saturday, December 10, the Kalamazoo Nature Center will host the 2011 Buy Local Art & Gift Fair. Lots of artists this year and a really fun event. I will be on hand to sign copies of The Story of Snow from 1-3 PM. For more details, click here. If you… more »

The Six-fold Nature of Snow

March 15th, 2011
Some people have asked me why snow crystals have six corners. The answers I’ve seen in books and the Internet are incomplete at best. Here’s a more complete answer. (A pdf copy of this article is here.) How the crystal got its “six” It’s a cold winter’s… more »

What We Sometimes Miss

March 8th, 2011
For the first few years in which I would excitedly go out on frosty mornings to photograph ice formations, I never paid any attention to frost on car bodies. Sometimes I would notice something on our car window, but that was basically it – I was… more »

An Ice Vase Sprouts From a Bathtub

February 6th, 2011
Someone recently sent me a beautiful image of an ice structure in the shape of a vase. The vase in that case had somehow sprouted out of a frozen birdbath. The thing reminded me of an ice vase I once found on an old plugged-up bathtub in a farmer’s… more »

Groundhog Day Blizzard - 2011

February 2nd, 2011
We had a blizzard last night. (By 'we' I mean the mid section of the continental United States. ) Here in Michigan it started in the early evening, quickly accelerated, and lingered on till around noon today. At least a foot of snow fell overnight and… more »

Ice Forms on Slow-moving Water II: Pancakes and Frozen Foam

January 16th, 2011
An acquaintance of mine recently discovered these odd discs of ice. The discs floated freely in an eddy behind some fallen logs on the Nooksack River’s south fork. See other photos and a short video at… more »

Ice Forms on Slow-moving Water I: Caterpillars and Cellular Dendrites

January 15th, 2011
During my last winter in Japan (2009-2010), I would walk around a neighborhood park on frosty mornings, looking for interesting ice forms. It was in this park that I found one rock (only one!) that on some mornings would sprout hair-like ice, arising… more »