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Kentucky Color: Rare sight. Patch of frost flowers
Nature observer has seen the rare sight only a few times before spotting this spectacular show of nature, in miniature, on the Chowning Farm near Amandaville, KY, on Crocus Creek off KY 704 in Cumberland CO., KY
Click on headline for full story plus 3 photos. The next earlier Kentucky Color is Gilled mushrooms, Harvey's Ridge, KY For Colleen Bardin's album of additional Frost Flower photos, Click here
By Billy Joe Fudge, President
Homeplace on Green River, 6035 New Columbia RD, Campbellsville, KY
I was blessed this morning, Wednesday, December 16, 2009, to find a large patch of Frost Flowers down on Crocus Creek on the Chowning Farm, Hopewell Acres, near Amandaville in Cumberland Co., KY.
After spending most of my life out of doors I have seen them only 3 or 4 times.They are very fragile, as you might imagine, and of course as soon as the temperture rises to 32 they are gone.
Frost flowers are formed when water inside a Frostweed - sometimes called Tick Weed or White Crownbeard - stem freezes and splits the stem open. When water vapor inside the stem is emitted directly into the air, it is transformed into a ribbon or thin sheet of ice.
Spot tickweed patches in summer and mark locations. Ironweed, a very common wildflower, is also a producer of Frost Flowers. An update to; Kentucky Color: Rare sight. Patch of frost flowers by Billy Joe Fudge, now with new photos added.
Update December 22, 2009: Here is a link to a picture of Tickweed. If you see these growing in late summer or early fall then check back in early, below freezing mornings especially after a soaking rain or an extended time of foggy wet weather to see if Frost Flowers have developed:
The largest Frost Flower patch I've ever seen was on a steep roadside in the Turkey Neck Bend area of Cumberland and Monroe Counties in late fall.
Frost flowers common on Ironweed stems
In researching the Frost Flower phenomenon, one will find that
Ironweed, one of Adair County's most beautiful wldflowers, also has Frost Flowers. An example is Watersheds.org
This story was posted on 2009-12-17 07:00:01
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