I woke up recently to find the following structures on my lawn; they resemble bubbles, but are formed from ice (we had a moderate frost overnight). There were eight of these 'bubbles' on my lawn and one smashed one on the adjacent path. They were only present in my garden, and nowhere else.

What processes could have allowed these 'bubbles' to form in this shape?

'Bubbles' on grass: on grasd Damaged 'bubble' This was found on the paving slab and was not touched: Damaged 'bubble'

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for a freakin' awesome photo! FWIW, my guess would be a very mild local air current plus high humidity allowed some frost crystals to grow this way. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jan 1 '15 at 14:15

I think this is a frost flower, crystallofolia, closely related to hair ice.

They can appear quite similar to the above photos.

Pluchea odorata — Marsh Fleabane — Mown Stem on Path December 25, 2007 &mdash 26° F — N. Hays County, Texas enter image description here

Capillary action sucks up water from cracks in plant stems or just water present inside wood, freezing as it gets exposed to air. This makes more water arrive, displacing the ice outwards forming long petals along cracks, ridges or other structures. A lot depends on cracks forming in the right directions and supplying water at the right rate.


Did you recently spray Herbicide on your garden? The Herbicide may have formed a sort of film overnight that allowed frost to freeze onto it.

  • $\begingroup$ Nothing has been sprayed on the garden. So still a bit of a mystery. $\endgroup$ – Baldrickk Jan 4 '15 at 0:30

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