North dome

North dome

One of the most enchanting seasons is winter in the Catskills.  Hands down.  Are you with me?  Its best after a storm, before the trucks plow and sand.  Pure magic.  In the interior of the mountains, its beyond serene.  The snow is often powdery, maybe with an icy crust.  Can you hear the sound of your boot crunching through?  Yup.

But at a certain point,  at a high enough altitude, the ice is different.  The atmospheric conditions set up hard rime.  Now if you know, you know.  Its amazing.  And now just scroll down to some delicious photographs.  Now, I’m not trained as a scientist, but my love of our native, wild landscape has lead me to explore a deeper ecological and scientific understanding of what is happening in front of me, around me- leading me to appreciate doubly, no triply, the outstanding visual effects nature offers.  For me, its the best that the winter season has to offer.  This for me is majesty.

Hard rime is formed when the atmospheric fog or low-hanging clouds freeze to the outer surface of the vegetation atop.   So when weather fronts are moving across the mountain summits, the landscape variables create these pure white oases.  All the droplets and moisture in the air create this white crust formed fully around tree branches and …hard rime is not clear, but white.  We probably see more soft rime or glaze ice at the bottoms of the summits and in the valleys of the Catskills in which most people live.

Path to Big Indian

Hard rime en route to North Dome

Hard rime en route to North Dome

hard rime at peekamoose

View from Peekamoose summit

View from Peekamoose summit