Rime, Hoar, Snow, Ice??

Ok folks. Here is a new one for me. Maybe you know this but it was all new to me. Seventy plus years of living in a winter environment left me scratching my head when I heard the weather forecasters talking about ‘Rime Ice’ that was decorating our trees, gardens and landscape. Hmmm I thought. What the heck is rime ice and have I been incorrect for 70 years calling this phenom ‘Hoar Frost”? Dr. Google to the rescue:

With rime, the moisture comes from freezing fog water droplets that turn directly from a liquid state to a solid state, or through direct freezing. On the other hand, hoar frost occurs on a clear, cold night where water vapor sublimates: transitioning immediately from a gaseous state to a solid state.

So here is my dive into trying to get this right in some images.

Hoar Frost in my back yard that showed up one morning.

I went for a drive in the country and was rewarded with a full on assault of overcast sky, obliterated horizon, thousands of trees laden with rime ice and some creatures living their lives in this wonderland.

Some White-tailed deer not even knowing they are looking at rime ice.

This Common Raven, unaware of all the rime ice around, is vying to become the next hood ornament for the all electric ‘Ravenmobile’ that is still in the concept stage. Apparently you can vote on which pose would sell more cars.

Now to something we have known (well at least I assume) for years. Good old ice. Here you can see the incisor teeth on this ice dragon’s mouth.

This ‘Bearded Clematis Gnome’ may just be sporting some snow, or is it frost??

Our city with condensing water vapour is desperately looking for a new definition.

  • Hoar smoke.
  • Rime smoke.
  • Chimshaust (Chimney Exhaust)
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  1. Ray January 18, 2023 at 2:40 pm #

    These are spectacular! It has been a beautiful couple of weeks here. Call it what you like, I like it with whatever name you give it.


  2. Miranda January 13, 2023 at 2:09 pm #

    These photos might just be enough to entice me back to Canada to see what we’ve been missing!

  3. Nola Leighton January 13, 2023 at 7:15 am #

    Oh Trent- Love your photo -as always – and your witty commentary! Unbelievable beauty you have captured in those images. We heard of rime on the CBC here for, in my memory, the first time ever. I wondered about it but obviously not enough to look it up as you did. Hard to chose between the 2 images when voting for the Ravenmobile! So spectacular. Who needs green when you have the beauty you have captured! Hand claps and high fives all round for you! Beautiful!

  4. Robert January 12, 2023 at 2:51 pm #

    We’re raven about your amazen photos Trent! So glad you got out and about, photographically. I think I heard the same meteorological explanation on the radio that you did, (did hear a similar one a couple of years ago, but I forgot which process produced which phenomena…) It was like skiing across tiny broken plates the other day. I don’t remember seeing such an elaborate accumulation on the trees before so I was wondering if this qualified as “The rime of the century”?

  5. Leona Theis January 12, 2023 at 11:31 am #

    Trent, I like all these photos so much that I can’t even say which is my favourite. Though the raven hood ornament is so vivid that I guarantee it will stay in my consciousness all day. I looked up rime ice a few years ago after a ski at Wildwood golf course, when I noticed that what I thought was hoar frost was staying around a lot longer than hoar frost typically does. What I learned was that, while hoar frost often disappears quite quickly after a brief, jazzy show, rime ice can build and build over days, getting more and more spectacular. I’ve been out of town for this particular showing, and so it’s a treat to appreciate it through your photos.

  6. Ernis January 12, 2023 at 11:29 am #

    Beyond brilliant, Trent!

    When are the publishers putting out their promotional material about your photography and the ingenious, often humorous commentary that accompanies it?


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