Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘flocked trees

Showing Off

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Some days it feels like nature is toying with us. Sure, fog can roll in at just the right temperatures, and overnight, ice crystals will form on tree branches. We love it! The look is festive and mesmerizing. So photogenic!

 

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You think you’re looking at the best scenery possible, but then nature lets you know you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Watch what happens when a little sunshine and blue sky is added to the scene.

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Now it feels like nature is just showing off.

What a gorgeous place it is that we live where the four seasons play out with such dramatic diversity.

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Written by johnwhays

January 3, 2021 at 11:02 am

Morning Surprise

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When I pushed my nose up against the glass of the door to the deck in search of the critter that was setting off our motion light on Tuesday night, all I could report seeing was a few surprise snowflakes floating down. It was only a surprise in that I hadn’t noticed any other precipitation starting before that. My impression was that the predicted weather event would start with light rain that might eventually include a mix of snow.

Waking up yesterday morning with a two-and-a-half inch layer of sticky snowflakes coating everything was quite the surprise.

It made for some fabulous morning scenery.

I was darting off on my morning commute to the day-job in the Daylight Saving Time darkness of the early hour, so I didn’t get much chance to ogle the spectacle. By the time I reached the far side of the Twin Cities, there was no evidence anywhere that any new precipitation had even fallen there.

Knowing the snow at home wouldn’t last very long after the sun came up, I sent a message to Cyndie asking her to take pictures.

I’m really glad she did because, by the time I returned home in the afternoon, all the new-fallen snow had disappeared completely. It was if it had never happened.

My, how quickly things can change.

Early on, Cyndie reported the chickens appeared highly miffed over the sudden return of the cold blanket of white covering their stomping grounds. Happily for them, the annoyance was short-lived and they were out on patrol scouring their surroundings in execution of their primary responsibility as insect pest controllers when I got home.

It’s very rewarding to have them get after that task at the very instant bare ground begins to reappear from beneath the winter snowpack. They are champions of natural fly and tick reduction.

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Written by johnwhays

March 12, 2020 at 6:00 am

Blue Background

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The winter wonderland views of the white flocked trees took on a whole new level of spectacular yesterday morning with clear skies bringing bright sunshine against a vivid blue background.

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Unfortunately, all that sunshine brings with it an end to the beautiful crystals of ice on the branches. By the middle of the day, we had returned to bare branches and the slim bit of snow cover on the ground was starting to retreat.

There is no way to capture in words or pictures the depth of emotional energy inspired by the precious opportunity to walk amid the wonder of these scenes in person. What a gift.

We always feel blessed to live here, but there are days like yesterday that really send our wonderment over the top.

What a contrast between the look of the two days, one heavy with grays that evokes its own special reaction, and the other so brilliant blue.

I’m hard pressed to choose which I like better.

As Cyndie is inclined to profess, they both get to be, “The best!”

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Written by johnwhays

December 15, 2018 at 10:23 am

Really Enjoying

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Despite the unhealthy air quality associated with our current weather pattern, I am really enjoying the visuals all this fog creates.

Once again, Cyndie comes through with some wonderful shots…

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She said the horses looked like they had been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Their backs and even their tails were flocked with frozen crystals from the fog, but she wasn’t close enough for it to show in the pictures.

Who knows what today will bring. There have been predictions the sun will shine later and the temperatures will climb above freezing. I won’t complain about that, but this freezing fog sure has been fun for the spectacular visuals it creates.

 

Written by johnwhays

December 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

Frosty Landscape

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Not just frost, but rime ice from a day of freezing fog! When I left work yesterday afternoon, I needed sunglasses due to the bright sunshine.

As I approached the border where Minnesota ends and Wisconsin begins, the color palette changed significantly. I had to lose the shades.

It looked like the fog I had driven through on the way to work in the early morning darkness must have lingered for most of the day. The last twenty minutes of my commute home was a glorious spectacle of varying degrees of frosty views against a dark gray sky.

It was fabulous. It reminded me again of how clueless I was as a kid when I vehemently trash-talked white-flocked fake Christmas trees because they made absolutely no sense to me. Why would anyone paint a tree white!?

Apparently, I hadn’t yet seen the real thing in the wild for myself. I totally get it now.

I tried capturing a few shots at home before the daylight entirely vanished, even though our property wasn’t quite as spectacular as the landscape I saw along the ridges between River Falls and our place.

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There was just a hint of sunset color showing through a thin spot in the cloud cover as the big orange orb was reaching the tree line.

How pastel.

And all of it, beautiful.

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Written by johnwhays

December 11, 2018 at 7:00 am

More Science

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This is so cool. In a wonderful compliment to the fascinating sublimation of ice off our deck that I wrote about last week, yesterday we were treated to the other side of that coin, so to speak: deposition.

The air is loaded with moisture this week, and we are experiencing some gorgeous hoar-frost.

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“When these water vapor molecules contact a subfreezing surface, such as a blade of grass, they jump directly from the gas state to solid state, a process known as “deposition”, leading to a coating of tiny ice crystals.”

Hoarfrost: The Science Behind Frost on Steroids
By Jon Erdman  –  October 20 2015 07:00 AM EDT – weather.com

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The scenery on my drive home from work yesterday just kept getting more and more spectacular as I approached our ranch. Views of the hillsides covered with flocked trees across the landscape are absolutely intoxicating.

The first time I saw a Christmas tree flocked completely white when I was a kid, I thought it looked ridiculous. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would want such a bizarre looking tree. In time, I came to recognize the artificial trees were mimicking the inspiring look of hoar-frost.

Now I understand, sort of.

While out walking to a high spot in the hay-field with Delilah to take pictures of the barn with the flocked trees as a backdrop, I received a vivid demonstration of how much our darling Belgian Tervuren enjoys snow. In a blink, she appeared to regress back to a puppy and romped in the deep powder with reckless abandon.

It is rewarding to see her so happy, as she has suffered a bit of neglect in the last few weeks, between Cyndie’s illness and the sudden death of Legacy. She has been very patient and a wonderful companion during this time, which leads us to want to reward her with opportunities to play and be the center of our attention again.

It’s another kind of science. Animal love.

Letting a dog thrive at doing what dogs love to do with the people who take care of them.

Getting to do it in a natural wonderland of spectacular frosted trees is a bonus!

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Written by johnwhays

January 26, 2018 at 7:00 am