The Night Shift Labours of Jack Frost

This post was first published when Town Spirit was just a few months old, in November of 2010. As beautiful as the frost has been, it is still nice to think that winters always pass and summers always come – just in case you don’t like tobogganing, skating, hockey, curling, snowshoeing, skiing, or winter photography, and yearn instead for mosquitoes, sunburn, sticky Popsicles and lawn mowing!

Please enjoy this post about frost, and remember: if you have pictures of our beautiful Peace Country, we would love to share them here. Just email And thanks for dropping by!


It’s the most beautiful winter phenomenon, the sparkly, fuzzy whiteness of well-grown hoar frost decorating trees, fences, rose bushes and grasses.  Today’s display of hoar frost was gorgeous!

Hoar frost is also called pruina (if you want to sound supersmart while you are discussing the weather).  Frost crystals really do grow –  the size of the crystals, or “spicules,” depends on how much moisture is available in the air.

Hoarfrost is kind of a funny word… but don’t worry, it comes to us after a long and innocent journey through the German language.  Originally the word was hehr, meaning “sublime”.  Then it morphed into words meaning “old” and “grey with age” (as in an old man’s hoary white beard).  Any of those meanings are quite fitting.  “Frost” has always meant pretty much the same thing – ffffrrreezing!!!

A lot of people think the correct term is “horror frost.”  Maybe that’s just because it’s a bit uncomfortable to say hoar.  But Horror Frost sounds like a good local legend!  If you want to make one up and debut it on Town Spirit, Town Spirit really wants to hear from you!!


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One Response to The Night Shift Labours of Jack Frost

  1. Pingback: Sunrise Column | Town Spirit

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