This morning we were going about our morning business when Brent noticed that something looked a little different outside. This time of year we sometimes avoid looking out the window. The weather is fairly monotonous and bleak, and there’s still a long way to go until it changes.

But, as if to teach us a lesson, Mother Nature surprised us. We had our second hoarfrost in as many years – last year it happened on Christmas Day. Locals around here told us last year that there hadn’t been a hoarfrost in decades. So we certainly didn’t expect to see one again in our lifetimes.

People call this phenomena by many names – “hoar frost,” “rime,” “radiation frost.” It’s difficult to categorize frost formations because they’re usually a combination of different types. But generally, large frost crystals form on objects when the objects themselves are colder than the air around it, and the air is “super-saturated,” or humid. What shape they take depends on how cold the ambient temperature is, and whether or not there is a slight breeze.

It’s all very complicated, and we don’t really understand it either. But it doesn’t matter. It’s beautiful. Every single branch in the yard looked as if it had grown leaves overnight. It was like spring – only dressed in all white.

Click on any one of our photos below to begin a slide show, and watch the short video at the bottom. And be sure to check out your window every morning…


by Josh and Brent

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Patricia Palomino

I am so happy to see this “blog” about one of my favourite things (hoar-frost). Thanks so much


Miniscule dancing angels
Ice crystals leap and whirl through the air–

Almost invisible in the bright sunlit, blue blue sky
Revealed as they cluster

On branches, on twigs, on fences
Like millions of Monarch Butterflies
Happy to have arrived at their destination.

Hoarfrost–an ugly name for
The loveliest of natural shows.

The world sparkles and shines
Blinding white snow, exciting white crystals.

The air so cold, so cruel
Feeds my eyes with beauty
While it freezes and tortures my flesh

Patricia Palomino


HOW BEAUTIFUL!! Everything looks white and sort of furry, yet also crystal-y! I don't believe I have ever seen anything like that! Loved the photos and the video!

Edward Ewing

Wow, How beautiful. Thanks for sharing that with us! Nature really is amazing at times.Here in Michigan there are days when we wake up to beautiful things that the snow or ice has created. I always get out my camera, because you know it won't last long. So I find myself staring, trying to burn it into my memory.

Bruce W. Medanich

Wow. beautiful how you captured the spirit of the day…….just over to the west of you…..(Chenango Lake)….my first eperience here with that beautiful frost…..almost 20 below…….well, now it's April 5th…….snowed here today..they call it "sap snow"……well, i haven't had water since then, so looking forward to warmer nights……….& running water…watching your reruns right now & waiting for 10 p m…….Namaste…


We have had a couple of these in central Wisconsin this year- hoeever, none as beautiful as this! i didnt know that there was a specific name for it;) now i know!

i just knew/know that it doesnt happen a lot. but i didnt know it was so rare;)

We often see this in the fall and spring or when it is "warmer" and had rained and the temp suddenly drops. indeed, it is usually very foggy- almost "steamy" effect.


Just saw your gorgeous pictures of the hoarfrost. Very, very interesting. Living in Arizona it's something we never see. Loved the photos and how well the beauty was captured. I received a new camera for Christmas and have been outside since then trying to capture the beauty of my own tiny backyard here in Arizona. I'm still trying to learn camera technique.

Nicole g usberti

Wow the pic are beautiful… lucky I'm in yardley pathos winter was terrible

Tanya Easterly

I've just looked at the beautiful hoarfrost

pictures and the video of the smoke tree.

The frost frozen on the limbs and even on

the wire fences looked a little like the

old German feather trees. I thought any one

of the pics would make a good screen saver.

For now I'm going with the one of the

Beekman which is hard to beat in any season. Thanks for taking the time to

share this.


Wow- how extraordinary and beautiful! You might wait 40 years for the hoar frost in Sharon Springs but we'd be waiting 40 decades down here in Australia. Lovely.


Those pics are so beautiful. I have never seen anything like that. Thanks for sharing the pics.

paige sprenkel


vicky tracy

I know exactly what you are talking about I saw the same beautiful scene one morning when I got to the masion to clean and it just took my breath away but then again many things related to the mansion can have that effect. The BEEKMAN MANSION is the most beautifull place all 4 seasons. XOXO Vicky

Kathy Bunting

Breathtaking! Don't you just love to "Stop and smell the Roses?" Thanks for sharing.

Pat Fielding

Fabulous photos – thanks for sharing. Hope it is OK to use a few of the pictures in my snow quilt I am planning on making. Have some already from our last snow fall here and was looking for a few more. A couple of these would be great.


Enchanting, beautiful & magical. Thank you so much for the photos and science lesson. It makes it even more fun to know the how & why.


Loved all the lovely frost photos, but I will bet the little goat in the window photo is John's favorite–it is mine !


Thank you for the wonderful photos. We had hoar frost here in St.Paul, MN about a week ago and I had to go to work in the morning so I couldn't take any pictures of it. I was so bummed out about it and then tahhhdaa

you took some beautiful photos. 🙂

Janice Jaquish

My grandson and I enjoyed your pictures…so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Jan and Cole

Paula Hepler

Absolutely beautiful!

When we throw our fists at Mother Nature because we're sick and tired of getting dumped with 24 inches of snow and say "enough", she turns around and hands us this beautiful, but rare sight.

Who is the wonderful photog? What kind of camera do you shoot with?


Windsor, (north central) CT


As I see it y'all have excellent "juju" . This is a very good thing to have. If this beautiful hoar frost occurred anywhere my locale, people would panic, storm the grocery stores for bread and milk, hole up in their basements, and wait for the " End times ".Thank you for letting us Southern chickies see this gorgeous alternative

universe !

ps your cheese also has good juju



The wonder and beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me. These phenomenon are indeed rare — worth stopping every ordinary task to appreciate.

Two months ago I saw a very brilliant unbroken double rainbow, like nothing I had ever seen before. Too bad I didn't have a camera handy to capture the moment. It was gone in just a few minutes. I'm glad you caught all of these images during the moments it was possible. Thank you guys for taking these photos and sharing them with us.

Jan Santagata

Thanks for the education on the gorgeous "hoarfrost".I have seen it in Ohio, but never in such detail.You are great photographers.The pump image looked like a dressed up animal to me.Love u 2.Jan

Brenda Lowther

I have been transplanted from Connecticut to Mobile, Alabama for the last 7 years. Your pictures remind me of home and childhood memories! I used to take the beauty of winter for granted, and even thought living in the south would make for nicer winters! I was wrong. I know some people get SAD in the winters up north, but I think it is worse here. The winter looks just dirty. We are moving back to Connecticut next year and I promise to never take winter (or fall, or spring…) for granted again! See you in Sharon Springs next fall for leaf peeping!!

lorraine Jones

this kind of beauty is quite ephemeral. so while you might have enjoyed it from your window this morning it was really wonderful of you to hurry outside and photograph it. so many more of us can see and enjoy it and you have some beautiful pictures now. thanks for going out and freezing your fingers; we all benefitted


Picture 23 of the side of the barn looks like ninja stars of ice crystals in the wood. So cool! Gorgeous pictures, thanks for sharing!


Such beauty and wonderfully beautiful photos. Growing up in Idaho, I have seen it a few times, but nothing as beautiful as this. Thanks for sharing. The two of you are living in paradise – ok, a working paradise. Anything worth having is worth working for. Can hardly wait for the new season!


That was just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it. The sound of the quiet there was just hypnotic.




Truly great pictures! Thanks for sharing the beauty and tranquility of Beekman-in-the-Winter with everyone. Anyone who's ever had a hectic day HAS to envy you!

elisa carlin

absolutely beautiful, here's an idea, some of those photos should be made into post cards, the one with the maple in front of the barn or the goat looking out the window are two of my favorites! Thanks for sharing!!

suzanne spina

Smoke trees are one of my favorites. I have never seen a hoarfrost such as that in real life that I can remember. Your photos are fascinating and beautiful. Thanks!

Marie Stone

Josh and Brent….lovely hoar frost. I have only seen one in my grandmother's garden when I was a child many years ago. As I am a gardener in Cape May, NJ a friend of mine forwarded me the January 2011 Newsletter from The Landreth Seed Company…it is all about the hoar frost in Sharon Springs, Christmas 2009. Beautiful photos and a good scientific explanation of this phenomenon. I believe that is the seed company you get your heirloom seeds from. Check it out. Hope to get up to see you this the meantime I enjoy spending time with you on your website and blog, and stepping into the past with you. Happy New Year.

Kathy Cassidy

So lovely. The barn wall looked like it was alive with butterflies.

Thanks for sharing this lovely early morning gift with us.


I love winter. And spring. And summer. And fall.

Isn't our world beautiful?

Cheers, everyone!


teri tighe

So unbelievably beautiful.

I specifically love the man made materials, like the hose and the water spout. I especially love the spider web! You definitely have to document these rare occurrences and I'm surprised, as well, that it's happened two years in a row after many decades.

Julie Knutson

Thank you so much for posting these pictures. I have never heard of hoar frost before. It is absolutely beautiful!! I loved the one with the seperate flakes on the barn. I hope you don't mind but I borrowed that pic for a future facebook profile pic. I usually put strange, out of the norm photos as my pic. Love you both and stay warm!! XO Julie