Yesterday as I drove to work I noticed my world became one filled with crystaline trees and bushes. A fog had gone through in the early morning hours and left frozen moisture on the branches. The picture below is a pretty good depiction of what I saw.

The frost simply shimmers and shines as the sun dances upon the frozen droplets. Before it melts away, we live in a crystal world that dazzles before disappearing.

Tree covered with Hoar Frost, Picture by Black Creed

 It is what one calls Hoar Frost. Some dictionaries define it as frozen dew that comes in the shape of tiny needles. We always notice it after any foggy morning. It is quite beautiful as we head north and west towards our church on a Sunday morning.

Close up of Hoar Frost, Picture by Idaho Editor

Now, I know what you are thinking. What a terrible name for something so beautiful. But this is one of those words that come from the German language according to Some note its use around the 12oos, other claim it comes from before 900 A.D.

According to, the origins are from the German word “herh” which means sublime. But “Herr” is a proper title for a man, as in Herr Schmidt. So the term could be old/grey combined with frost.

I would like to think it means sublime because the look of hoarfrost in the morning is just that. I also find it suitable for December when we still love snow and find it magical. Quite frankly, hoarfrost makes snow magical in January and February as well. By then the feeling is as fleeting as the hoarfrost.

How do you find the magical in wintertime?