An icy mist or fog drifted in just after supper last night, and by morning (if I may be so gauche as to quote myself) every twig was spiky with eldritch feathers.
Unlike with a regular ice storm, trees that have been bathed in icy fog for a number of hours don’t seem to be unduly stressed: branches don’t break or even bend much under the weight of what is essentially hoarfrost.
An old bird’s nest was gravid with its one big egg of snow.
A dead oak was one of the few trees completely bereft of feathers,
which otherwise had sprouted nearly everywhere.
The few leaves still hanging on the trees were especially rich sites for ice-crystal nucleation.
On top of the ridge where the fog had been thickest, a leaf curled against a branch was transformed into a caterpillar of frost,
and certain smooth-barked trees of just the right diameter and orientation had grown thornier than any honey locust.
Barberry thorns, meanwhile, had acquired thorns of their own, and spruce needles had sprouted a whole new set of needles. I thought of that koan-like saying attributed to Jesus in Matthew 25:29 and Luke 19:26: “Unto every one that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
An hour after I returned from my walk, the temperature climbed above freezing, a wind sprang up, and the hoarfrost disappeared in minutes.