Frost cups

What I’ve read is that the temperature influences the shape frost takes – sometimes plates form, sometimes hollow pipes, sometimes rods/spikes. This particular morning I found pipes that widened as they grew. They look like cups or goblets:


16 thoughts on “Frost cups

  1. Hi Tom, I wish you great new things in the new year.
    When I see these extreme photos I wish I were Thumbelina and could live in that world… and in my imagination I do! sort of an elder Alice in wonderland, but nothing crazy or incomprehensible in this world of yours, only the wonder of natural beauty. Thank you. Vera

    • You’re welcome, Vera. To enter the frost world, you don’t need one of Alice’s confections, just a hand lens. You do have to get down on your knees, though. best in the new year to you as well!

  2. Interesting post regarding the varying shapes at different temperatures, Tom. I would think the colder temperatures would create harder crystals and a quicker freeze. The quickness might control the shapes possibly. Nice study.

    • The information about crystals came from articles by Kenneth Libbrecht (physicist and author of Snowflakes) and a book by a Japanese physicist who created snowflakes in a lab. Different crystal forms occur preferentially at different subzero temperatures. There are at least 14 different crystal forms for ice; water is pretty weird stuff, with some unusual properties.

  3. I just love Nature….this is beautiful! Thank you!
    Happy New Year to you, Tom; keep up the good work. Can I send visitors to you for tips on how to photograph such beautiful macros? All the best, :O)

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