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The Incredibly Beautiful Fern Frost

Updated on June 21, 2012
Fern Frost
Fern Frost | Source

Fern Frost

A visit by Jack Frost makes a cold winter morning very special and has me reaching for my camera.

The patterns that form on glass can be breathtakingly beautiful, I have tried to capture that beauty in my photos and found it very challenging!

'Fern frost' is beautiful patterns of ice crystals that form on glass, they create intricate patterns that look like fern.

Fern Frost I have applied a 'green' photo filter effect to this photo
Fern Frost I have applied a 'green' photo filter effect to this photo | Source
Fern growing in my garden
Fern growing in my garden | Source

Jack Frost

To my delight, Jack Frost must have paid particular attention to my greenhouse, every pane of glass had been decorated!

But photographing glass with the sun shining brightly isn’t easy! The photos haven’t totally captured the truly exquisite spectacle before me.

My greenhouse
My greenhouse | Source
Source

A change in temperature

The day before I took these photos the temperatures dropped and we had some snow. During the evening the temperature increased and it began to rain, then through the night the temperatures dropped again. The perfect conditions for a fern frost.

Source
I have applied a 'cool blue' photo filter effect to this photo
I have applied a 'cool blue' photo filter effect to this photo | Source

How a fern frost forms

The droplets of water on the cold glass turn to ice and more moisture freezes on top. Gradually more ice crystals form and the frost develops into shapes. These shapes are feather like and as they build up they eventually look like fern.

To create this effect the glass needs to be clean. As the droplets of water build up and are un-impeded by surface debris, they grow into patterns of graceful ethereal feathers and ferns.

Initially a seeding crystal, hexagon in shape starts the pattern, catching onto an imperfection in the glass, such as a scratch. The water droplets very quickly attach themselves, preventing more seeding crystals to form, allowing the pattern to form and continue growing.

Source
I have applied a 'warm' photo filter effect to this photo
I have applied a 'warm' photo filter effect to this photo | Source
I have applied a 'violet' photo filter effect to this photo
I have applied a 'violet' photo filter effect to this photo | Source

Complex patterns

Even with time, surely no machine or man, could reproduce such detail and precision. These patterns appear so complex and regular, the detail so fine, that it’s almost incomprehendable that it can emerge in such a short time.

Source
Source
A black and white image
A black and white image | Source

The thaw

As I was taking the photos I could hear the drip, drip of the thaw. Yet again, I felt humbled and privileged to witness this brief glimpse of nature's beauty and magnificence. An hour later it was gone.



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    • Suki C profile image

      Barbara C 4 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Now there's an idea ;)

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Suki, I can relate to all you say!!!

      Your stories would make a lovely hub.......

    • Suki C profile image

      Barbara C 4 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Thank you Lesley - I bet children these days just couldn't imagine sleeping in a bedroom that cold (our parents would probably been done for cruelty if it happened now!)

      For heating we just had an open fire in the sitting room in the evenings and a coke boiler for hot water in the kitchen - my mum would put our school uniforms on the airer in front of this and we would scurry downstairs and into our clothes as quickly as possible in the mornings - brrrr!

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Suki, frost on the inside of the windows - yes I remember, now that was cold!! love your story about the peep-hole!

      Thank you for stopping by, your comments are much appreciated, have a wonderful day and take care.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Suki C profile image

      Barbara C 4 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      I, too, remember as a child in the fifties, living in a house with no heating that we would wake in the mornings to these beautiful patterns on the inside of the windows. My mum would say that Jack Frost had visited in the night. I would hold one of the big old pennies in my hand until it was warm and then press it on to the window to make a perfectly round peep-hole.

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Sue, thank you so much!!

      Best wishes to you too, Lesley

    • profile image

      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Lesley,

      I don't know how I missed this one. Your photos are stunningly beautiful!

      Voted up and away

      Best wishes

      Sue

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Eddy, thanks for visiting a second time!! it's always good to see you - have a wonderful day, love Lesley

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      I can actually remember this hub from months ago;enjoyed it just as much second time round too.

      Lots of love .

      Eddy.

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi ishwaryass22, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photos of the fern frost, it was truly beautiful, I was quite disappointed when it thawed!

      Thank you for your very kind comments, votes and pin - they are much appreciated!

      Enjoy your day, best wishes Lesley

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Wow! I have not seen or heard of frost fern till now thanks to you & your breathtaking photos! Your photos are stunning! Nature have a way of creating many visual treats for nature-lovers! A delightful hub! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Beautiful & Awesome. Voted up & pinned

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello SanneL, thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

      Have a beautiful day and best wishes Lesley

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Lesley, wow! Your stunning pictures are a piece of beautiful art. Just so beautiful!!

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Deborah, yes it was a real delight to wake up to - I was so excited - I just couldn't grab my camera quick enough:-)

      Many thanks for your comments, best wishes Lesley

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      Gorgeous! What a treat for you to wake up to. Thanks for sharing.

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello sgbrown, thank you for stopping by and your wonderful comments and votes:-)

      Enjoy your day and take care, Lesley

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Beautiful sight! I think you did a great job photographing these. They are beautiful! Great hub, great job! Voted up and beautiful!

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Phyllis, thank you for your wonderful kind comments and votes, they are very much appreciated.

      I really enjoyed taking these photos, although capturing the beauty of the patterns was certainly a challenge!

      Have a good week, take care, best wishes Lesley

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Lesley, the photos you took are breathtakingly beautiful. I am so glad you caught the ice ferns at just the right time and that you shared them with us. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. You are fantastic with your photography!

      voted up, awesome, beautiful

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Angel, I wish the patterns were a permanent feature - they were so beautiful to look at!

      I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photos, thank you and take care, Lesley

    • profile image

      A.CreativeThinker 5 years ago

      Wow, these photos are simply amazing and a work of art!

      Thanks for sharing them. Take Care :)

      Angel

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals, thank you for visiting, your comments and votes they are much appreciated, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photos!

      Best wishes Lesley

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Movie Master, what beautiful pieces of art the fern frost created. Your pictures are awesome. Thank you so much for sharing. Up and awesome.

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Hyphenbird, the patterns were so breathtakingly beautiful, I wish they could be a permanent feature to the greenhouse!

      Many thanks for visiting and your lovely comments, take care Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi timorous, yes the fern frost is quite magical, I wish it had stayed around a little longer so I could have persevered at getting better photos - thank you for stopping by and your great comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Eddy, many thanks for your lovely comments and votes, it's always great to see you! take care Lesley

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      These are amazing and breathtaking. I have seen some frost designs but never anything this detailed and complete. These need to be in a book somewhere!

    • timorous profile image

      timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

      Oooh-La-La, MM. Yes, it's one of nature's beautiful tricks, if the conditions are just right. You've captured these beautifully. I can attest to the difficulty of capturing 'fern frost', and getting the light to shine through at just the right angle to give it contrast and a three-dimensional quality. Nicely done.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      How strange I could have sworn that I had commented on this one,but never midn better late than never.

      This hub is tuly beautiful Lesley and shows what an amazing photographer you are as well as a writer.

      This one has to be awarded my up up and away.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good Morning Mary, that's just great to know I inspire you! thank you for your lovely comments, have a wonderful day and take care best wishes Lesley

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good Morning, MM. You always inspire me to do more with my lowly photography. These photos are absolutely beautiful. They should be saved and framed for all time so others could appreciate them.

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Donna, I have never tried photo filters before - I liked the green one best!

      Thank you for stopping by and your comments, have a lovely day, best wishes Lesley

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 5 years ago from USA

      Wow, I never knew you could get so many distinctly different effects with filters! This is incredible; I love looking at frost patterns (from the safety of a warm house!)

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Annie, I love your new profile pic - I think maybe it's time I changed mine...

      You seem to understand me so well - yes I was very excited taking these photos, I can't even begin to describe the pleasure I get from photographing nature and sharing the photos here on hubpages and getting such wonderful encouraging and complimentary comments.

      Thank you so much, best wishes Lesley

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      Oh MM, your photos tantalise my mind. I just love your fern frost moments, I appreciate the difficulty in capturing this amazing sight and your photos are amazing. These finely etched masterpieces could never be created by man and thats why I believe true art only ever exists in nature and all we can do is imitate it. Just beautiful, I am book marking this hub, cos I want to take this in again and again. Your photos are very, very exciting, you must have been trembling as you took them and not just from the cold :) My votes to you MM, your photography excites and inspires me. (I really like the green and violet filtered images, but love them all)

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi StellaSee, many thanks for stopping by and your comments, they are much appreciated, I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi teaches12345, thank you for visiting and your comments, I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photos and they bought back special memories.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Molly, yes the patterns look engraved into the glass - I was almost surprised when it disappeared!

      Thank you for your very kind comments, they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Alicia, I really enjoyed taking these photos, that's what I love about photography, the patterns quickly disappeared but the moment is preserved!

      Thank you for visiting and your comments, have a wonderful day!

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Dim, taking these photos were a little challenging!!

      I'm so pleased you enjoyed them, many thanks for your comments, take care Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Jackie, thank you so much for your very kind comments, your words mean a great deal to me!

      Have a wonderful day, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Dex my friend, I hope all is well with you, many thanks for your great comments, enjoy your day and take care Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi prasetio, wow! thank you for your wonderful comments! best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi 2uesday, I can remember having no central heating and the inside of the windows being frozen! and like you the frost patterns use to fascinate me then!

      Many thanks for your comments, enjoy your day, Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Ruby, I don't really have much photography knowledge - but I am learning all the time! taking the photos and sharing them with you has given me so much pleasure!

      Many, many thanks for your comments, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Gail, that's just what the patterns reminded me of - cut glass!

      Thank you so much for visiting, your comments and votes they are much appreciated, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Maria, capturing a beautiful nature moment in photography is my favourite passion!!

      I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photos, many thanks for the votes, have a wonderful day and take care, Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Stessily, I wish it could have been a permanent feature on my greenhouse! but capturing the beauty in photos was the next best thing!

      Many thanks for visiting and your comments, best wishes Lesley

    • StellaSee profile image

      StellaSee 5 years ago from California

      These are great photos Movie Master! Awww I wish I lived in a place where it snowed more.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I remember seeing these beautiful creations as a young girl growing up in the snowbelt up north. I used to trace over them with my finger and loved feeling the cold icy texture against my skin. You have captured the beauty of this natural phenomena and have left us breathless. Thanks for posting these photos and the trip down memory lane.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      Wow -- it looks almost like engraved silver. Magical! Congratulations on some truly amazing work.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These are beautiful photos, Lesley. You've captured some intricate and amazing patterns! Thank you once again for sharing your artistry.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

      I don´t think I´ve ever seen more beautiful photographs of frosted glass, than these.

      You obviously have a gift of understanding the right angle, right light....... Absolutely wonderful.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      How beautiful and of course every photographer's dream to find something like this. A starking beauty I would have called it and like snowflakes there will never be more exactly like it. I know I don't even have to say how much I appreciate your art, but I do and I always look forward to more you have done. (Your photography of course.)

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

      MovieMaster! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. Wow!!!!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow....wow...this was so beautiful, Lesly. I can't say anything until I finished explore all pictures here. You have done a great job. Rated up and awesome. God bless you!

      Love and peace, Prasetio

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 5 years ago

      How lovely the frost photos you have captured are. It does bring back memories of being a child with no heating in some of the rooms and waking to see patterns like that on the inside of the windows. You had to scrape it away to look out and see if it had snowed. But the patterns in the frost looked so beautiful that you did not want to spoil them. Lovely page.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Lesley, Your photos are spectacular!! Oh how i wish i had your knowledge about photography. It must be so much fun to create beauty, who would think frost could be so beautiful? Thank you my friend..

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Wow! You did a great job of capturing these fern frost images. Some of the photos actually look like you were taking pictures of cut glass bowls (particularly the one you took with the violet filter.)

      It's amazing how intricate these designs are. Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Lesley,

      Even the coldest surface is rife with passion and feeling. This photography is hauntingly exquisite and very expressive. Voted UP & Beautiful.

      Hugs, mar.

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      Lesley, Yes, fern frost is "incredibly beautiful." You're so fortunate that nature chose the vast palette of every single pane of your greenhouse. Nature must have known that you would capture this ephemeral, exquisite perfection in beautiful memorials.

      Kind regards, Stessily

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Paddy, it's always good to see you, I hope all is well with you, glad you enjoyed the photos!

      Take care and best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
      Author

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Mike, this is something I had never considered before - now you've got me thinking....

      Thank you for being 'you'

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Nell, yes nature is wonderful and offers so many photograph opportunities! I'm so pleased you enjoyed these photos, many thanks for your comments, take care Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Kamalesh, the hubber score is a bit of a mystery to me! I managed '99' once!

      Thank you as always for your continued support and comments, they are always much appreciated, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Ann, I love your idea, many thanks for your comments, votes and idea, I'm off to do some printing, black frames will be perfect!

      Best wishes Lesley

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image

      PADDYBOY60 5 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      I think you did a great job of photographing MM.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Building on anndavis25's idea, you might offer matted ready to frame prints on the webpage. If you thought it fit your business model.(and ready to frame so you don't have to mail 'glass'

    • Kamalesh050 profile image

      Kamalesh050 5 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

      What a great Photographer you are Lesley! I have very much enjoyed all the photos. Thank you so much for sharing all the wonderful stuff. I keep looking at your Hub score and wonder why it is not heating 100? I really don't know how it works but I keep my fingers crossed.

      Best Wishes to you my dear Friend. Take care, Kamalesh

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      How beautiful! it reminds me of ferns growing under the sea, isn't nature wonderful? thanks for sharing! nell

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Of course, you will frame a series of these in black frames for your hallway....love love love.

      up beautiful awesome

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi shimmering Dawn, many thanks for stopping by and your lovely comments, have a wonderful day and take care, best wishes Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Morning Mike, thank you for your fabulous comments - you've made my day - hope you enjoy yours and see you soon, Lesley

    • Movie Master profile image
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      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good Morning Sunnie, the patterns were so beautiful the photos don't really do them justice, it was challenging photography!!

      Have a wonderful day and many thanks for stopping by, best wishes Lesley

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

      Incredibly beautiful is right! Love it. Have a blessed day!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Movie Master your photographs are exquisite. I don’t know that I have seen anything as stunning. These are contest winners for sure.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 5 years ago

      Good Morning Lesley,

      What a beautiful pictures to capture. One more reason to be in awe of mother nature and her perfect gifts. I loved this! You capture the most wonderful, simple pleasures. Thank you so much for sharing!

      Sunnie