Monday, December 21, 2009

Wexford Sights (VI): Hoarfrost





As the roads around my house were too dangerous to drive on this morning, I was unable to go to work and was thus at something of a loss. As I stood outside the door of our shed, watching the sun rise on this, the shortest day of the year (and from tomorrow on it's acceptable to say that there's a grand stretch in the evening!), I noticed that the top of the old wooden fence that separates our house from the field behind us was covered in a fine topping of hoarfrost that glittered in the early morning light. Not wishing to waste an opportunity, I ran indoors and grabbed the camera. What fascinated me was the way that the lines of frost followed the grain and irregularities in the wood, creating an eye out of knotted whorl and a delicate coconut bonbon out of an exposed nail-head. Underneath is the nail-head in the third photo above, after the frost had melted in the weak light of the sun, and hoarfrost in the undergrowth behind our house.


And while we're at it, seeing as we're looking at photos of ice (and as an icy fog is descending on Wexford even as I type this), here's a rather challenging piece of piano music by an underrated Russian composer:


9 comments:

jams o donnell said...

Excellent potos. It looks bloody cold in Wexford. Bloody cold in London too!

Stan said...

What a treat, to watch and photograph frost crystals instead of having to drive on them. Lovely moments, Doubtful — frozen in ice and time alike. At full resolution they reminded me of Krypton, as depicted in the original Superman film!

A Doubtful Egg said...

It's pretty cold here alright, and yes, I don't have to drive anywhere today (aside from Gorey, but there's a treated main road to the town). The patterns that hoarfrost forms has always fascinated me; like tiny alien landscapes that brush aside at the slightest touch (and I was reminded of Krypton, and even toyed with the idea of Photoshopping a tiny caped figure into one...).

Claudia said...

Never saw photos of frost crystals before. That's what I would call too cold to go for a walk. Yet, I survived the sunless Arctic. Like the Inuits. By wearing sealskin coat, boots and mitts. As prepared as a seal to confront the elements.
Honni soit qui mal y pense!

Never heard such a powerful sonata. Very interesting to read the informations. Glad we could follow the pianist with the written music. It was easy to copy a few measures. I tried to play it, though there were no indications how to render the cluster notes. Had to let one, or two, go. And I didn't dare to obey the 5 Fortes. It might have broken my apartment size piano! I'll certainly listen to more YouTube offerings of this composer. Thanks!

A Doubtful Egg said...

Actually, it's only about -4 here at its coldest, and during the day it gets up to +3 or +4, so walks are not a problem! As for surviving the sunless Arctic, I doff my cap in admiration! It must have been incredible...
Ustvolskaya's sixth sonata is pretty strong alright! Hat Art Records did a collection of her six sonatas, of which this is the most extreme, which is worth tracking down (it's out of print, I think, but isn't too hard to find). Glad you enjoyed it! I'd love to hear it played on a real piano (as opposed to my stereo speakers) - I'd say the room would shake!

Sean Jeating said...

Lovely, D.E. - a rhapsody in white.
And wise a decision to stay at home.
Here the vast majority of people seem to believe they must not stay at home, at any cost. ... Meanwhile the blokes in the repair shops are (im)patiently waiting, rubbing their hands with glee.

Mpho said...

Wonderful photo's of the frost.

A Doubtful Egg said...

Thank you, Mpho. You must explain to me what your moniker derives from. (I prefer to know a little something about people who say nice things on my blog...)

darren said...

oooooooo..i like those photos..I hadnt a clue what they were till I read the piece..nice one centurion.