The Estuary Life Trail out at Starrigavan can be treacherously slippery during cold weather, but the relatively high humidity and lack of direct sunlight (the valley bottom and most of the estuary is in the shade of Harbor Mountain this time of year) make ideal conditions for delicate frost formations to develop.

During my time outside this afternoon, I made a quick trip to Totem Park to photograph the Wood Duck, then out to Starrigavan to check for hair ice (which is apparently indicative of a particular species of fungus decomposing the wood – Exidiopsis effusa). I was able to find some there, where I had seen it previously.

I spent more of my time there looking at and photographing the hoarfrost formations that covered pretty much every surface.

Although today’s forecast called for mostly sunny skies after patchy fog in the morning, the clouds (which were more of a mid-level marine layer with a base around 1500 feet, I think) only broke up back by the Sisters, as far as I could see. Over town and the water, it was overcast.

Although temperatures in town were right around freezing, so not really any cooler than on previous days, the lack of direct sunlight made it seem cooler, and perhaps a bit dreary.

Winds were quite calm (the buoy was down under 3 feet), but that is forecast to change by the end of the week. We have an Arctic outflow event to look forward to. This usually means strong cold winds with clear skies.

My iNaturalist Observations for today

2 thoughts on “Frosty”

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