Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘frostweed

Frostweed ice abstraction

with 25 comments

Envious of the ice and snow pictures that some of you who dwell in the lands of true winter have been showing lately, this morning I finally got a chance to follow suit after the overnight temperature dropped to freezing and a few frostweed plants (Verbesina virginica) in Great Hills Park did their magic ice trick. Shown here is a little piece of ice that separated from the frostweed stalk it had formed on.

If the phenomenon of crystallofolia is new to you, you can find a basic explanation in a post of mine from 2012 and a thorough treatment in an article by Bob Harms.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 24, 2019 at 11:48 AM

Frostweed ice: toward abstraction

with 43 comments

The extrusion of ice by frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is a great natural phenomenon. Austin’s temperature stayed mostly below freezing from the morning of January 1st, when I went down to Great Hills Park to take my first photographs of the new year, through this morning, when I returned for a second round of frostweed pictures, even more than two days earlier. Frostweed ice offers an opportunity for photographic abstractions, and that’s what you’re seeing here. Unlike the picture you saw last time, which involved flash, today’s images were made by natural light, which necessitated wider apertures that produced a softer feel.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 3, 2018 at 6:00 PM

I wasn’t expecting another chance this season…

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frostweed-ice-abstraction-0391

I wasn’t expecting another chance this season to photograph frostweed ice. My outlook changed two nights ago when the weather forecast for the morning of January 7th predicted a low temperature of around 23°F (–5°C). Out I went into that cold morning, once more to Great Hills Park, and sure enough some of the frostweed plants were doing their thing again. Because of previous performances, this time practically all the ice displays were way down low on the stalks, often touching the ground. In my 90 minutes of taking pictures I went mostly for close and abstract views of the ice, one of which you see here.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 8, 2017 at 5:03 AM

The spy who came in from the cold

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frostweed-ice-splitting-stalk-4358

Click for better quality and clarity.

The person in the title is me, who came in after two hours yesterday morning spent spying on the ice formations produced by frostweed plants (Verbesina virginica) in Great Hill Park. For the first time this season the temperature in Austin dipped below freezing overnight, as the forecast had predicted, so I felt duty-bound to bundle up and go out into the morning’s 29° in hopes that that would have been cold enough for frostweed to do its thing. It had been.

Unlike pictures of the phenomenon I’ve posted here in other years, this photograph emphasizes the way the ice first splits the outer part of a frostweed stalk. Notice that the tissue just inside the brown bark is still green.

If you’re new to frostweed’s ice trick and would like more of an explanation, along with images showing other aspects of the phenomenon, you can follow these links:

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/frostweed-explains-its-name/

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/frostweed-debuts-its-ice-trick-for-2012/

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/no-frost-but-frostweed-did-its-icy-trick/

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/cold-enough/

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/a-closer-look-at-frostweed-ice/

https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/cold-enough-once-again/

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 19, 2016 at 5:01 AM

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