Right around Christmas the weather pattern changed and we had a week of temps in the low teens, with crystal blue skies. It’s really beautiful, and felt pretty warm in the sunshine – even though the warm light is fleeting. The sea water temperature, warmed by the Japanese Current, remains in the mid-high 40s all year ’round, so the super-cold air temperature makes the harbor steam. It’s the perfect condition for the formation of hoar frost! Ice crystals start to form, growing every day……building layer by layer, making a sparkling diamond-like crust on everything – it’s so beautiful!There’s no snow in these scenes – it’s all frost that has grown very thick. The creeks also freeze solid, making it nice for ice skating or for Mother Nature to create interesting patterns.I was pretty cold photographing the frost, but the crystals are breathtaking – delicate prisms, angles, and clusters like flowers – I could have spent hours out there (but I had the sense to go home when I couldn’t feel my hands anymore). The low angle sunlight made a warm glow on the frosty scenes, contrasting sharply with the deep blue light in the shade.We only get to enjoy these magnificent crystals for a few days, and though warmer temps were a welcome change on New Year’s day, I miss the sparkles.Here’s what the frost looks like on Day 1……and here’s how it has grown in just a few days. Stunning!