Part of my bike commute goes over two branches of Campbell Creek. The railing of the bridge is a metal mesh that makes a perfect surface for hoar frost to grow on in the winter. Hoar frost, named after the old English word “hoar” meaning “showing signs of old age”, forms on cold clear nights especially in areas where there is a bit of moisture in the air. A good hoar frost turns everything it touches into crystal. Trees are magically transformed into delicate creations that sparkle in the sun against a crisp blue sky. Even fences get a good coating of white making them look a bit furry and quite tempting to kids. It is hard not to run your mitten along fences in these conditions. So, not surprisingly, as you go through town, you’ll see lots of hoar frost graffiti.
I was biking to work one morning in my usual zoned state when something caught my eye. In the Burma Shave sign form, someone had written “don’t leave blanks, write something today” on the mesh railing. How could I resist? I pulled over and added my bit. The pictures aren’t great, but it was really dark and all I had was my iphone to take a picture with.