Are you ready for a quick meteorological lesson?
I recently joined a few Wyoming photography groups on Facebook. They are a fun place to view and share photos of a state I love. With the recent weather that’s been moving across the state, people have been posting lots of sunset and frost photos.
Most of the time, I keep my comments about photo quality or grammar to myself. I’m no troll. But with the sheer volume of people incorrectly spelling the term to describe the thick white frost we see on trees and fences around our state, I felt compelled to take action.
The term is spelled hoar frost. Hoar comes from hoary, an Old English term that means showing signs of old age. In the context of frost, it is the kind of frost that makes trees and bushes look like white hair. The image above, taken when we lived in Boulder, Wyoming, is an example of hoar frost.
There are other kinds of frost, like window frost, white frost, advection frost, rime and black frost (we call it black ice around here). Oh and Jack Frost. He’s a cool cat. There are subtle differences between each kind of frost, most of which are lost on me. When in doubt, just call it frost. If you have someone that presses you on further identifying EXACTLY what kind of frost it is, drop them as a friend. You don’t need that kind of pressure in your life.
But, if you insist on categorizing your frost, remember it’s h-o-a-r.
W-H-O-R-E. I really don’t want to see what could be rightly described as whore frost.
If you are sharing photos or writing about weather phenomena, remember, h-o-a-r. You’ll thank me later.