Need help in identifying what's in this photo.

This is a discussion on Need help in identifying what's in this photo. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This is probably a real easy question for someone, but frankly I don't know the answer and I'm posting this picture in the hopes that ...

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Thread: Need help in identifying what's in this photo.

  1. #1
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    Need help in identifying what's in this photo.

    This is probably a real easy question for someone, but frankly I don't know the answer and I'm posting this picture in the hopes that someone can recognize this and explain it.

    Here is what happened:
    One morning, a few weeks ago, we were riding in our pastures checking on a cow that was due to calve. As we were passing near the edge of a hill, three or four doves flew up and away. They had been sitting in a little brushy spot at the edge of the hill. No big deal, but it made us look at the area they had been in, and I could see something white and thought it was pieces of paper? So I went over to that area to see why paper was there and it was actually little frosty ice formations (about 6 of them) in that area. I took a picture of one of them with my phone, and I've attached it here. The little formations are about as big as the palm of my hand and are composed of not hard ice, but frosty ice sort of like snow. The formations were intertwined among the brush so it was formed in place. I picked one up, though delicate, it was possible to handle it.

    It hadn't rained or snowed in any way. In fact there was not a frost on the ground though that morning it may have been some frost on the rooftops. At the time, the temp was probably in the high 20's or around 30, it was definitely below freezing. Of course it melted easily, the liquid (water) had absolutely no smell. The other formations looked similar to the one in the picture.

    The next day we were about 100 yds away checking on the cow again and happened across another (only one) formation like this one.

    Does anyone know how/why this ice forms like this?

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    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    your best bet is that its a piece of human waste thats been flushed into the atmosphere by a passing aircraft, I figure...
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    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artz View Post
    your best bet is that its a piece of human waste thats been flushed into the atmosphere by a passing aircraft, I figure...
    Sounds like a Joe Dirt moment.
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    I've seen spider webs get frozen into interesting forms, but nothing quite so long and spindly as that. The hidey-hole type webs made by some spiders can resemble that shape, at least in part, though you'd be left with the web and not merely melting water.
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    Member Array One of Many's Avatar
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    You indicated that there were birds on the ground where the ice was found, and the air temperature was below freezing. The ice you found may have been from the exhaled breath of the birds condensing and freezing into a semi-solid state. When it is extremely cold outside and I exert myself, my breath will condense and freeze on my mustache and beard. This may be similar. Was there anything inside the ice that could have started the condensation forming around it?

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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    I think that it's a phenomena I seem to recall seeing before. When I was little, I got a kid's version of National Geographic - I think it was called "World". On the back, they always had some neat pictures - time lapse night photography, natural oddities, extreme close ups, etc. and you had to read the magazine to figure out what it was. Well, this one issue had a picture of a playground slide in the wintertime - and at the bottom was a perfectly folded ribbon of snow, back and forth on top of itself, at least three or four times - without cracking or breaking. I think we're looking at the same type of thing, where snow falls onto a surface, be it a slide or a branch, and then the item in question hits 33 degrees, and the crystals immediately in contact with it begin to melt. Gravity relieves the item of the snow, and the snow itself is wet enough to hold together as it folds and bends.

    Either that, or you've just found evidence that Elvis came back to visit your farm.

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    That's totally strange. New one on me.
    I've spent a ton of time roaming around in the wilds in all sorts of weather and I've never spotted anything like that.
    Meanwhile you took that photo with your PHONE?
    What phone do you have?
    Mine sure won't takes pics like that.
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    I dont know what they are called but it is a fairly commom occurance around here. It seems like water comes up from the plants and freezes, causing various shapes and such,Some of them can be quite interesting.
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    Chooie sounds like he might have nailed it but, whatever caused it must be a fairly rare/uncommon event. Great pic.
    Thanks for posting it.

    Or...maybe Hot Guns nailed it. Bizarre! regardless.
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    It's a new Razr (V9m)phone, the cam has about 2.0 megapix's. The owl pics were from that phone also.

    I think the doves were there because of the "white" contrast on the ground and it attracted them as if it were a food source?

    The plant juice freezing is a good explanation I think. During the night as it gets cold the ice forms and expands it's way out of a plant, then keeps progressively adding ice to itself as it pushes out and grows. If you look carefully at the pic, you can tell that parts of it are raised, the formation is actually one long piece of ice that has coiled and stacked up on itself. There is nothing that I could detect that was in the core of the ice, no sticks, webs, or anything, just a long "snake" of frosty ice.

    I've traipsed around in the woods too, and I've never seen anything like this, I suppose the conditions have to be just so. I'm glad others have seen something familiar. I'm sure it's a natural phenomena but I'd like to know more about it. Thanks for everyone's ideas.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    xenomorph droppings??????
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  13. #12
    Ex Member Array Creature's Avatar
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    Could be some kind of fungus maybe?

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    Me and my daughter was deer hunting durring black powder season in Salisaw in OK and saw the same type of ice formation coming up from ther ground

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chooie View Post
    I think that it's a phenomena I seem to recall seeing before. When I was little, I got a kid's version of National Geographic - I think it was called "World". On the back, they always had some neat pictures - time lapse night photography, natural oddities, extreme close ups, etc. and you had to read the magazine to figure out what it was. Well, this one issue had a picture of a playground slide in the wintertime - and at the bottom was a perfectly folded ribbon of snow, back and forth on top of itself, at least three or four times - without cracking or breaking. I think we're looking at the same type of thing, where snow falls onto a surface, be it a slide or a branch, and then the item in question hits 33 degrees, and the crystals immediately in contact with it begin to melt. Gravity relieves the item of the snow, and the snow itself is wet enough to hold together as it folds and bends.
    What you are describing is probably "rhime ice". It depends on very cold temperatures to form. When we lived in Colorado, above 9800' we would get it once or twice per winter, but only when it was 20-40 degrees below zero. When there was no wind it would build into "curly" formations that were really interesting. Add wind and it would form "flags" on vertical limbs and objects.
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    We were building a house once and when we got in one morning there on the ground on the red clay was this patch of ice that had formed upwards like a stalagmite. Darndest thing was there was no water or moisture there the day before, nor was it anywhere else but this one spot about 10 foot by 10 foot squared area. If you touched it, it would crumble.
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