Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hoar Frost

This morning it is icy cold, hoar frost must dominate the fields round Essex not so much here but I do love this 'winter wonderland' scene, the starlings descend on their bread with a ferocity of hunger, the doves coo plaintively for their seed. We looked up 'hoar in the dictionary to find that Richard Jeffries has used it for hares, and as an extra bonus, though I did not find the quote in question, I find that Edward Thomas has written about Jeffries on his life, etc which is on the Gutenberg site.
So as I am cooking a hearty soup and have decided to try Nigel Slater's Aubergine Cassoulet recipe Some photos from the past..........

Hoar Frost
"Under clear frosty nights in winter soft ice crystals might form on vegetation or any object that has been chilled below freezing point by radiation cooling. This deposit of ice crystals is known as hoar frost and may sometimes be so thick that it might look like snow. The interlocking ice crystals become attached to branches of trees, leafs, hedgerows and grass blades and are one of the most prominent features of a typical 'winter wonderland' day. However, the fine 'feathers', 'needles' and 'spines' might also be found on any other object that is exposed to supersaturated air below freezing temperature."

Hoar; Definition adj

Old English har "hoary, gray, venerable, old," the connecting notion being gray hair, from Proto-Germanic *haira (cf. Old Norse harr "gray-haired, old," Old Saxon, Old High German her "distinguished, noble, glorious," German hehr), from PIE *kei-, source of color adjectives. German also uses the word as a title of respect, in Herr. Of frost, it is recorded in Old English, perhaps expressing the resemblance of the white feathers of frost to an old man's beard. Used as an attribute of boundary stones in Anglo-Saxon, perhaps in reference to being gray with lichens, hence its appearance in place-names

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