picture for today 17/08/2014

okay on a different trail of thought today and i just had to share this one with you because it fascinates me and i am sure it will you also it is possibly one of the most amazing photos i have ever seen not because of scale or majesty or any historical moment nope and nope again this one is quite the opposite in this one we are looking toward the tiny and higly detailed

hair ice an amzing natural phenomena rare and only caught on photo relatively few times some people wait years to get the best picture of it gotta admire their dedication

hair ice an amzing natural phenomena rare and only caught on photo relatively few times some people wait years to get the best picture of it gotta admire their dedication

now i have tried to include the picture as large as i could go so you could see the detail

these tiny hair like structures are actually frost i shall try and find some proper background for you:

Where does hair ice form? In the three cases I found that morning, all were on about 1-3″ diameter logs; all were near the ground or other wet objects; all were growing on bark-free regions and growing partly downward. Also, the region was quite soggy. Three days later, also after a fast freeze, I saw hair ice in the same place.

I saw some other hair ice nearby. Although this looks like a lot of water to be coming out of the wood, there actually is relatively little water. After scooping up about a cup and a half of the stuff, I found that it melted down to a little less than a tablespoon. That is, the water essentially expanded about 30 times to produce the hair.

So, how does this ice grow, and what pushes it out?

The hair ice forms like the ground needles that make the ground crunchy. It may not be exactly the same, but I think the basic processes are the same. Ground needles form when the top of the ground starts to freeze, but the ice cannot penetrate the fine pores in the soil below. But the fine pores allow melt (liquid water) to flow up to the ice.

The basic theory for ground needles is from Stephen Taber in the 1930s, and I sketch it on the upper left in the image below. After a little ice forms on the ground surface, a thin film of water will remain between the ice and the soil grains beneath.

As the ice starts growing down between the pores of the soil, the ice surface must curve. But the surface tension of the ice effectively stops the growth. Capillary forces draw water up from below, the water freezes below the ice needle, which decreases the film thickness, increasing the pressure, and pushing the ice up.

The same process basically acts to push the hair ice outward from the wood, as shown at the upper right in the sketch.


to give you some kind of idea of scale the main big picture is taken of a piece of wood measuring around 2.5 cms i tried to get it as large as i could so you could see the beautiful hair like structures but for those who want to go looking for this stuff here is another picture to show you what you are looking for

see tiny tiny!

see tiny tiny!

so there you go nature damned amazing isn’t it ^_^

have a super sunday everyone

love and peace be with you all




8 responses

    1. thank you for such a nice comment ^_^ and i do find it amazing the detail in nature when you look close up it is just astounding and something this tiny is so easily missed i am so glad that a few dedicated photographers are prepared to do what it takes to get such great pictures!
      thank you for dropping by hope you have a super sunday love and peace be with you x

      1. You too – and thanks for sharing with us.

  1. I’ve never seen anything like this, heck, I didn’t even know it existed. Huh. I live to learn. Thank you, Kizzy. 🙂

  2. Quite beautiful. I can see why people wait around forever to get pictures of it.

    1. it is amazing isn’t it i do think there is a world of difference between people who take photos and real photographers, and the quality always shows that large picture i could look at all day seeing new forms in it each time i look i imagine they had really good equipment and of course the dedication and patience needed to capture this delicate natural form but wow it was worth it! thank you for dropping by have a great sunday love and peace be with you

  3. Wow, so pretty up close and I love seeing things magnified (have a pinterest board just for that)…never knew about hair ice, but come winter will have to be more observant! Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  4. Really interesting Nia – I couldn’t figure out what this was when I first saw your photograph.

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