A whole lotta whore frost

05Feb12

Once every couple of years, the meteorological conditions in Minneapolis coalesce to produce hoarfrost. Although most Minnesotans—including at least one newspaper employee—misspell it as “whore frost,” it has nothing to do with the ladies of the night.

Hoarfrost happens when the air is warm and relatively humid, and then the temperature drops below freezing. As the temperature falls, the moisture in the air freezes into large ice crystals that stick to trees, buildings … pretty much everything. The result looks like this:

Yesterday I awoke to a wintry wonderland of grays and whites, so I set out for a morning photo drive.

Although the frost was beautiful, the thick clouds made the light dull and flat. I chatted with a photographer named Chuck and played with his dogs while I waited for the skies to brighten.

Alas, nature had other plans: The light stayed a dull gray all day. But at least I got in a good walk.

As I sorted through my photos tonight, I wondered whether I’ll still be living in Minnesota when the next hoarfrost strikes. It’s one of the many beautiful things I’ll miss about this place.



16 Responses to “A whole lotta whore frost”

  1. On a day like that, it’s about capturing the textures, and you did a fine job of it!

  2. Beautiful! I’d love to take a stroll through all of that. But by the time I got my butt outta bed it would probably not be as quiet and serene. Dare I say it pays to be a morning person from time to time? Eesh, I shudder at the thought :)

    • 3 hmunro

      Yup, I admit that I rather enjoy the solitude early mornings afford: Even big cities like Paris are quiet and introspective. But do you know what I love even more than being out at the crack of dawn? Going back home, cranking up the electric blanket, and curling up for a long mid-afternoon nap. Especially if there’s a crêpe Nutella to be had on the way. :)

  3. Heather….. these photos are stunning!!!! I especially like the 5th from last one!!! The frost is beautiful!!!! Looks super soft!!! :) **

    • 5 hmunro

      “Super-soft” is the perfect description! And super-quiet, too, because the frost has a dampening effect on the traffic noise. Too bad my camera can’t quite capture *that.* :)

  4. Gorgeous shots. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautiful, very peaceful too, thanks. :-)

  6. 8 dancingbeastie

    Yay, tree pictures on Heatherblog! They’re just beautiful. You’ve even succeeded in showing me the beauty of tyre tracks on a snowy road, although my favourite (surprise) is the close up of that wonderful bark with the frost picking out the texture. Are these all taken with natural colour? They look almost like old black and white film, although I’m guessing that that’s just the way the world looks on days like this. The beauty of monochrome.

    By the way – ‘whore’ frost. Snort. We *certainly* don’t have that kind of frost in Britain, I can assure you. We’re *far* too genteel. ;)

    • 9 hmunro

      *Of course* you don’t have “whore frost” in Britain! I believe you lot call it “tart frost.” *Snort!*

      Seriously, though … thanks (as always) for your kind words. The photos are indeed natural color — which goes to show what a truly gray day it was. Thank goodness it didn’t last, else I should become very depressed indeed. (Black and white makes for lovely photos, but for a rather dull life.) :)

  7. Beautiful photos… I’ve been waiting for a new post, and this one hits the mark. Keep up the good work!

  8. What a BEAUTIFUL series!

  9. Whore frost is what you get when you say you won’t pay her.

    Seriously, those photos are wonderful, especially the ones of the American oak leaf close-up and the wide of the golf course.

    • 14 hmunro

      Har, har, Ian! Do you ever get hoarfrost in Hamburg? And to reference a really old post of yours: Any updates on the car burnings? Haven’t heard as much about the lately; wonder if they’re dying down.

  10. Bleak weather usually seems to make for good photos somehow (and this is first I learned of term “hoarfrost”). I hope you do “burn down the house” and go/travel wherever that makes you happy — I can’t argue re Paris. I think I understand, b/c I also burned down my house a few yrs ago (quit my job) . . .though now looking to rebuild it — no worries, it’s all good. Best wishes & see you on the blogosphere!

    • 16 hmunro

      As an avid follower of your blog, I’m honored to find your comment — and grateful for the words of encouragement. I’m happy to report that I’m taking the first steps toward (metaphorical) incineration, and glad to hear you describe your plans to rebuild as “it’s all good.” Welcome home!


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