I was recently contacted by Neville Davies from South Wales who discovered something unusual in his local woods this January. Neville sent me the photo below and writes:
“On January 23rd 2015 I was walking through the Beech Woodlands of Draethen in South Wales three miles east of the famous town of Caerphilly. It was a very cold morning and as I walked through the woods I remember noticing a twig with what I thought to be sheep’s wool attached to it. It wasn’t until a while later, when I had seen the same substance on another twig on the ground, that I took the time to look more closely.
I was amazed to see that it resembled snow or frost flakes, and that they ran along the whole length of the twig. I tried to pick up the twig and the flakes fell off in chunks reminding me of tuna flakes when they fall apart from a tin.
I remember thinking how odd this seemed and thought no more of it until I had feedback from my newsletter, where I had included a picture, that this was possibly Hair Ice.
I was very excited about this and was directed to your website post What is Hair Ice? where the photos are identical to what I had taken.
This is a new species for me and I feel very proud to have come across this.”
If you live in or are visiting Wales, do have a look at the www.ecologycymru.co.uk website as they run lots of guided walks and events for people interested in nature, flora and fauna.
Above is Neville’s great picture of hair ice. You can also find more photos of hair ice (haareis) and an explanation of what hair ice is and what causes hair ice, at my post What is Hair Ice? Do let me know if you have any more sightings to report of this unusual phenomenon. January 2015 seems to have been just the right weather conditions for it!