Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Frosty Expedition

For the expedition described in this posting, I only had to travel as far as my front yard! A great benefit of getting out of bed early on a cold, frosty morning in the valley where I live, is the possibility of getting to see a somewhat rare phenomenon that few people ever have the opportunity to witness----"frost flowers". They come from the plant the locals call "frostweed" (aka Verbesina virginica). The frost flowers form just above ground level when the first hard freeze forces water out of the stems to form various rounded or curving shapes of ice. Last year, I even "harvested" some of the beautiful, icy formations and sprayed them with sugar-free raspberry syrup to make a hillbilly version of a snowcone! Each icy formation is different, and the intricacy of the frost sculptures remind me of a verse from one of my favorite Psalms of praise to God: "Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14a (One reason I like Psalm 139 so much is because it is a fantastic oracle for the traveler---especially the paraphrased version in The Message.) But if you are not a morning person, don't count on ever getting to see anything but photographs of these frost flowers. They disappear quickly as the sun heats up the ground where they are "blooming". Miles of frosty smiles! Tricia
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