On my morning walk today temperature was about -1°C and all nature was cold and damp - unpleasant. The night before was freezing cold and on some places in the forests one could see a very rare and somehow spectacular phenomenon: Hair ice. I saw it the second time in my life.
Because of the morning hour and the overcast sky light was rather poor but I think the photos nevertheless are worth showing.
For those who are interested here some information:
Hair ice is a type of ice that forms on moist rotting wood from broadleaf trees when temperatures are slightly under 0°C and the air is humid. The ice takes the shape of fine, smooth, silky hair. Each of the „hairs“ has a diameter of only 0,02 mm and a length of up to 10 cm. The hairs are brittle, but take the shape of curls and waves as you can see in my photos. They can maintain their shape for hours and sometimes even days - if the conditions are right. This long lifetime indicates that something is preventing the small ice crystals from recrystallizing into larger ones, since recrystallization normally occurs very quickly at temperatures near 0 °C (32 °F).
The hairs appear to root at the mouth of wood rays, similar to pores, (never on the bark), and their thickness is similar to the diameter of the wood ray channels.
Not before 2015, German and Swiss scientists identified the fungus „Exidiopsis effusa“ as key to the formation of hair ice. The fungus was found on every hair ice sample examined by the researchers, and disabling the fungus with fungicide or hot water prevented hair ice formation. The fungus shapes the ice into fine hairs through an uncertain mechanism and likely stabilizes it by providing a recrystallization inhibitor.
You can see the formation of this little wonder in fast motion here.
Your whole presentation really IS fascinating! When I first saw the image, I thought it was some kind of underwater growth. You captured the fine detail well in both images. The video is also amazing GLF, P
A winter scene from this year! A very fascinating picture with a kind of ice I don´t think I have ever seen. This is an interesting picture and also a very good photo. Your note is also very interesting.