The day after the post below was published, heavy rain washed away all the hair ice in the area. Not to fear – it should grow back, when conditions are right.
Here’s your chance to see an uncommon phenomenon, along the Dipper Trail in the Mamquam spawning channels.
Ice has formed on wet, dead branches in shapes that resemble candy floss or fine silky hair. This type of ice was first described in 1918 by Alfred Wegener. It has been reported mostly at latitudes between 45–55 °N in broadleaf forests, initially in Switzerland and Germany. The ice can last for days if it is not exposed to direct sun (or rain!). Wegener assumed some specific fungi as the catalyst. In 2015, Diana Hofmann, Gerhart Wagner, and Christian Mätzler identified the fungus Exidiopsis effusa as key to the formation of hair ice.
Photo above: hair ice along the Mamquam spawning channel trails, 3:30 pm Jan 21, 2019.