Yesterday—New Year’s Eve—I went skiing out back and encountered hoarfrost. Or was it rime ice? The internet is giving me conflicting answers. The difference between the two is less about their looks—both can resemble little daggers—and more about how they were formed. Since I was busy sleeping when it formed, I’ll just call it hoarfrost for now. Different from regular ol’ frost, hoarfrost is less common, even here in Minnesota. Based on my limited scientific understanding, the conditions need to be just right for the dazzling ice needles to form. With many readers from less extreme climates than the Midwest US, I thought I’d share my hoarfrosty ski and wish you all a happy 2023.

May rare, magical, and awe-inspiring things fill your year, and may all the daggers you encounter melt on contact.


44 thoughts

  1. That is so beautiful! I think I first heard the word “hoarfrost” and saw pictures of it on a blog a few years ago. Obviously, we don’t see that around here so I’m so happy you shared. Each little dagger looks very delicate.

    We had a rainy New Year’s day here, which was much-needed.


  2. I’ve never heard of or seen this phenomenon before, but wow! So beautiful – and definitely a pretty cool thing to find at the beginning of a whole new year. Here’s to finding plenty more fun things along the way in 2023. Happy New Year!


    1. Thank you! Hoarfrost is pretty amazing, even for those of us in wintry climes. I’ve been off the blog a bit because of travel and a bad connection at our destination, but I’ll be back reading and commenting now. Happy New Year to you, too!


  3. I first learned about hoarfrost on the bathroom wall of a men’s room in a dive bar. No, wait…I’m thinking of something else…

    In any case, I love the stuff. We’d see it in Rapid City at least once or twice every winter. I’m surprised by how much snow you still have. Ours all melted last week when it warmed up.

    May your 2023 be full of travel and other adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! When I was looking up the difference between hoarfrost and rime ice, I watched a video of a weatherman trying to explain the difference. He spelled out the first syllable in hoarfrost, lest anything think of that OTHER word, but I noticed he didn’t spell out rime. You KNOW people who watched that video are thinking “rhyme” ice.
      You, too. Maybe one of our adventures will be to meet you and Tara! Who knows?


  4. Wow, who knew that daggers could be so beautiful! I just love your pictures of this wintery day. It actually makes me feel quite jealous as I wish we would get snowy days like that here in Tennessee. I always enjoy reading your posts and I hope one day to come up there and have lunch with you. Until then, I hope this year brings all good things your way. Happy 2023 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! For my first round of skiing (skate skiing) I forgot my phone (aka my camera), so I switched to classic skis and did another round, adding the photography. I had to hurry or the rising temps would melt the hoarfrost!


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