Frost Flowers

The Frost Flower

They are formed when thin layers of ice are are extruded from long-stemmed plants in autumn or early winter in the right conditions.

The thin layers of ice often form into exquisite patterns that curl into petals that can resemble flowers.

This can only happen when there are freezing air conditions when the ground is not already frozen.

The sap in the stem of the plants will expand.

This causes long, thin cracks to form the length of the stem.

Water is drawn through those cracks and freezes on contact with the air.

As more water comes through the cracks, it pushes the thin ice layers further and further out, causing "petals" to form.

They melt or sublimate when exposed to sunlight, so they are usually visible only in the early morning.

Even more than normal flowers this can remind us of:

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.

These flowers measure their life in hours if not minutes.  But we know where our eternal hope lies.

© Vivian P. Kirkpatrick, 2015