When Father Winter hits Ridgway, Colorado with a sudden blast of cold, he sometimes softens the blow with an indescribably beautiful wonder called “hoarfrost”. The National Snow and Ice Data Center defines hoarfrost as a deposit of interlocking ice crystals formed by direct sublimation on objects, usually those of small diameter freely exposed to the air, such as tree branches, plant stems and leaf edges, wires, poles, etc., which surface is sufficiently cooled, mostly by nocturnal radiation, to cause the direct sublimation of the water vapor contained in the ambient air. No matter how it’s defined, this white frost creates a spectacular winter wonderland along the Uncompahgre River in Ridgway. I even found a bald eagle who was enjoying the view.
The Uncompahgre River near my house in Ridgway…
The Mallard Ducks were enjoying the water… it’s a lot warmer than the surrounding sub-zero air. ;)
White winter frost along the Uncompahgre River in Ridgway
Hoarfrost along the riverside…
Indescribably beautiful against the bluebird sky…
I caught this young fellow sitting in a cottonwood tree above the river, but he didn’t seem to be fishing… only resting and very aware of his surroundings.
After observing the bald eagles that migrate to Ridgway for the past few years, I’ve learned this look… “that’s close enough”. A man walking his dog got a little too close for comfort, and I thought the eagle was going to fly. They moved on, and he settled down again.
Waving “hi”? Nope, he was just turning around on the branch. ;)
A magpie was staying nearby, hoping to get an easy meal if the eagle caught a fish. No such luck… this guy wasn’t fishing at the time.
The bald eagles migrate to Ridgway each late October-early November and stay until late March-early April. I love getting out in the early mornings to watch them. Yesterday, I captured a juvenile and an adult fighting over a fish… that will be in a later post. :)