Sunday, January 3, 2010

When Ma Nature "rolls" your yard

Walking along my driveway, I looked over at my neighbor's yard and thought he had been "rolled." That seemed highly unlikely in Deerfield because we have much more practical uses for toilet paper.

Upon closer inspection I saw that the dainty white puffs were actually thin ribbons of ice. Larry took some photos for me.

After some research on the Internet, I concluded that what we saw is a phenomenon known as "frost flowers" or "ice flowers." Wikipedia has a complete explanation, but basically it happens when sap in the stem of a woody plant freezes and expands. Thin cracks open along the stem and when the sap hits the cold air it freezes into these ice ribbons.

As someone who has been rolled numerous times over the years, I'm thankful that Ma Nature will take care of her own clean up when the first warm day hits.

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