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Alberta Scenery Photo Tour

photo by Leanne Guenther

Photo:  Winter scenery (Hoarfrost)

Winter, is of course, one of the things people associate with Canada.  It can be one of the prettiest times of year with lots of fun activities like skiing, skating and tobogganing to enjoy.  During most of the populated areas of Alberta, winters do not get too terribly cold (though we do have our moments).  Winters are made more pleasant by the Chinooks that happen sporadically through the season.  Chinooks are dry, warm, and strong winds that blow down the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, bringing above average temperatures to Alberta and parts of the United States.  In some cases, chinooks have been known to raise a winter day's temperature 20 degrees in less than an hour.  

This photo shows a snowy creek in the national park in Alberta.  

photo by Leanne Guenther

This photo shows hoarfrost on the tree branches with a farm shed in the background.  

A bit of science:  Hoarfrost is a deposit of interlocking ice crystals (hoar crystals) on small objects like tree branches, plant stems and barbed wire.  You get the hoar crystals instead of ice when there is a fair amount of water vapor in the air which freezes right onto the small objects -- instantly becoming a solid crystal without becoming a liquid (water) first.  This process of going from gas to solid (skipping the liquid state) is called sublimation.


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