Hoar frost: a good omen?

Let me take you on a journey way back, all the way back to 2009. As an aside, may I remind you that’s 7 years ago? Yeah, that gave me a shock too.

So back to 2009 – when I was still a student in Birmingham and S had his first ever grown-up job in London. We decided to take a trip to celebrate New Years Eve, which happened to be our second anniversary. So we borrowed his parents car and took a trip to spend our NYE in beautiful Wales.

It was a great little trip and we stayed in the chinztiest B&B ever where we drank cheap gin from bone china teacups and watched Jools Holland on the telly.

However that part is a story for another day. Today I’m telling you about the first sight we laid eyes on in the year that was to be 2009. On the morning of the 1st January 2009 we awoke to find that there had been a hoar frost overnight in the Welsh valleys.


Now, I personally find Wales to have some of the most visually stunning landscapes around, but this was elevated to a whole other level.


Let me explain; a hoar frost is when the air is so cold that water freezes before it can evaporate. Instead, it crystallises into ice on whatever surface it was touching. Turns out, it’s also exceptionally beautiful.


It gets its name from the old English word which means old-looking, because of how it makes trees look like they’ve suddenly put on a grey wig.


I personally think they look more like giant sticks of candy floss, but I think that says more about my sweet tooth than anything else.

So we went for a drive – actually, more of a stop because we spent most of our time pulled over in laybys snapping photos of the landscape like lunatics. And apparently I like to act like a fool sometimes. Here I am doing an Instagram pose before Instagram was even a thing.


I just love the way the light is being diffused through the clouds; it was like being on another planet.


Cue more pratting about. As an aside – nice dodgy home box dye job you have there, Rachel. Anyway… Once we realised we couldn’t feel our faces anymore, we decided to go and sit in a pub for the rest of the day. It was awesome.


As for 2009, turns out it was a great year. I graduated, achieving a first (for those who might not know about UK degree classifications, that means in the top <10% of my year), got engaged, and dyed my hair back to a sensible colour.


Gratuitous graduation pic, because why the heck not.

Looking back now, I wonder whether the hoar frost was a good omen. A great sign of beauty at the start of a beautiful year.

Have you ever seen a hoar frost?



Linking up with Bonnie, Anna, Swags and Diana for Travel Tuesday



  1. Jen
    19th February 2016 / 20:27

    Wow I have never heard of anything like this, these photos are absolutely stunning!

    • 19th February 2016 / 23:30

      I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it since. So pretty! Glad you liked it!

    • 19th February 2016 / 23:33

      No way!! What did you study?! It’s sad that we never met!

      • 19th February 2016 / 23:38

        Small world, eh?! Bet we were next to each other on a night out somewhere! I studied joint honours Social Policy and Sociology and I lived in Maple Bank for freshers and then Selly Oak afterwards. How about you?

  2. 21st February 2016 / 21:01

    Oh my goodness, the hoar frost looks so beautiful! I can’t believe that the ice actually freezes like that and creates something so beautiful! It doesn’t really get cold enough where we live to experience anything like this, but maybe we’ll get a chance to see one when we’re traveling at some point in time.

    • 22nd February 2016 / 18:26

      It was unreal. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it since – although I imagine it’s not so pretty to look at in a city. I hope you get to see some sparkly frost on your travels!

  3. 21st February 2016 / 22:34

    WOW how stunning! I’ve never seen a hoar frost – not sure if we have them in New Zealand, definitely not in Auckland. It is so gorgeous!

    • 22nd February 2016 / 18:28

      It was amazing! I haven’t seen anything like this since, either. New Zealand has plenty of other pretty things to look at asides from some chilly trees!

  4. 22nd February 2016 / 05:18

    Oh wow that looks beautiful! 🙂 We don’t have frost here at all sadly. Although last year the snow crept up past the NSW border and into Queensland a little so maybe next year it will be close enough for us to consider driving toddler T down to see it.

    It certainly seems like a good way to start the year, you had a great 2009! 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 22nd February 2016 / 18:36

      That would be so cool! Do you have any mountains nearby that ever get snow? I guess we get a little bit blase about snow, but it must be a crazy experience to see it for the first time. I hope toddler T gets to see snow soon 🙂

      2009 was grand, one of those years where everything just keeps getting better.

      • 23rd February 2016 / 12:19

        The nearest mountains would be at threadbo down south, they get snow. All the ones near us are too warm sadly. One day he’ll get to experience some snow 🙂

  5. 22nd February 2016 / 14:33

    That is so beautiful!!! I don’t think we ever get that here in the Arctic but I’ve seen it in Germany before and it’s just so lovely!

    • 22nd February 2016 / 18:37

      Ha I think the frost would get lost under all the real snow in the Arctic!! I’m glad you’ve seen it too, it was like something out of a fairy tale.

  6. 23rd February 2016 / 21:53

    i have never heard of it, but it really does look amazing. but i want to talk about ‘candy floss’. so that’s what you all call it? that’s funny. we call it fairy floss and americans call it cotton candy. it’s like you took a mush of that and made your word. i like to say that we are a mush of americans and the english the way we talk (like we say ‘can’t’ like you but ‘dance’ like americans… and i was sure i had more examples but apparently not). anyway. rambling.

    • 23rd February 2016 / 23:46

      Ha! That’s so weird! It’s things like this that make me realise that whilst we might think we speak the same language, we actually don’t. Some of the things my niece says I really have to stop and think for a minute. Ice pole? Eh? You want a what now? She must really think I’m thick sometimes!

  7. 23rd February 2016 / 23:57

    Wow, I had no idea what hoar frost meant, but boy is it beautiful! What a magical way to start off the year 🙂

    • 29th February 2016 / 18:56

      I know, isn’t it amazing? It was super sparkly in the light as well, so pretty. I’m glad my year started off that way!

  8. 24th February 2016 / 12:50

    WOW!!! I have never heard of this term, but these pictures are BEAUTIFUL! I would gladly brave the freezing cold to take pictures of this all day long. And I love that instagram photo! I cannot think of a better way to start a new year!

    • 29th February 2016 / 18:57

      Me neither! I’m glad you enjoyed them. It was a pretty rad start to the year, and I’m now on the lookout for more beautiful hoar frosts so I can go and frolic in them – and hopefully get some good luck too!

  9. 24th February 2016 / 23:29

    So, so beautiful. We definitely had a hoar frost here in Germany about a month ago. Everything looked like frosted popsicles and it was awesome! Thanks for linking up with Travel Tuesday!

    • 29th February 2016 / 18:57

      Ah wow how lucky! I don’t think they’re very common here, so it was a treat to see one. Thanks for hosting!

  10. 27th February 2016 / 09:07

    My word, that is lovely. Sometimes humidity has its advantages. And I agree a great way to greet a new year.

    • 29th February 2016 / 18:58

      It’s gorgeous isn’t it? Weather can be pretty amazing sometimes, as much as we like to moan about it in the UK.

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