Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My first sighting of naturally occurring ice in Florida

Most of the frost was contained to the ground, on the grass and assorted weeds.

The various ditches and retention ponds that populate much of Florida had a skim of ice over them, about an eighth of an inch thick. This frozen ditch was near Turtlemound Road in Melbourne.

Just as Florida weather was getting a little boring, Mother Nature threw in something a little different. It has been cold here on the east coast since Saturday, but the temperature never quite hit freezing until this morning, when it got down to 27 degrees, cracking a record low of 31 for the date.

Early this morning, around 2, I saw frost forming on my car, so I set my alarm so I could get up with the sun and take some photos in daylight. After all, this is the first naturally formed ice I've seen since I visited Denver in April 2008; it was a big deal.

Many of the motorists were dumbfounded. I saw one stop in the driveway of my apartment complex when the sun hit his windshield and the glare off the frost blinded his view of the road. He simply cranked up the wiper speed instead of blasting the defrosters. Must have been a native.

Most of the photos people see on a news report about the big Florida freeze will show plants - especially citrus - that have been covered with water to prevent a deeper freeze. That's not natural. All of my photos are of ice created without the aid of man.

This blade of grass or weed - I'm not that familiar with Florida flora - gets a little golden as the sun rises over the trees.

I layered clothing appropriately for the conditions, but it was still chilly for my Florida-thinned blood. My hands as frozen as they were, I didn't bother to change lenses and kept my 105mm macro on the whole time.

I tried to achieve some different compositions of the same patch of clover-shaped vegetation.

Kind of a star-shaped grass varietal here.

Frost formed on top of this ant hill. It's plain to say there were no ants around.

Frost covers my windshield, as the sun pokes through the trees around 7:25 a.m.

Here's more of a close-up of one snowflake-shaped portion of the frost on my windshield, with sunlight filling the frame.

I stepped back to show a wider view of the frost on the ground vegetation.

This shot was actually a mistake, but it works in that it's a cooler view of the frost. It was actually taken when a car passed on Wickham Road in Melbourne, near my apartment, blocking the low-lying sun's light.

I'm posting this shot merely for the purpose of illustrating how the frost quickly melted. To the left is the frost deep in a ditch, which was just graced by sunlight when I snapped this. To the right is the grass on the elevated embankment, which had been exposed to the sun for longer and thus, the lack of frost.

I broke a piece of ice off the frozen ditch and took a shot. I'm saving this rare piece of Florida ice, complete with algae, in my kitchen freezer.

Wait, wait: In addition to winter arriving in Florida on Wednesday morning, fall did, too. I spotted a little red foliage in a sea of green trees along Turtlemound Road in Melbourne.

1 comment:

Cara said...

I really enjoy your pics and reading your posts. Keep it up and I may have to bring you more fries.