We are now clearly in the grip of winter (although thankfully there is no snow piling up), with our early-morning temperatures below freezing. (This morning, -8 Celsius was the lowest that my car’s thermometer recorded as I drove along.)
The dominant colour of the Greater Daglan Area (GDA) seems to be grey, as fog and low-lying clouds are features of many mornings and evenings. And frost is evident almost everywhere.
Today I got a nice, long look at the frost as I drove from Daglan to the hamlet of Costeraste, where I take part in aquagym classes three times a week. In the dim recesses of my mind, I thought that the phenomenon was called hoar frost — a build-up of frost on things like fences and tree leaves.
It turns out I was right (based on extensive Internet research, which probably took a good one or two minutes). Why “hoar frost?” Well, according to one well-placed Internet source (Wikipedia): “The name hoar comes from an Old English adjective that means ‘showing signs of old age’; in this context it refers to the frost that makes trees and bushes look like white hair.”
And here’s the view from the parking lot of the spa in Costeraste, which lies about 10 minutes from Gourdon in the Lot:
My wife Jan and I saw the same phenomenon this afternoon, as we drove over the hill that separates St. Cybranet from Cénac. Down in the valleys and fields along the way, the forests and walnut groves were shimmering white, their branches still covered with the frost.
“It looks like someone spray-painted the trees,” Jan said. And I agreed. Actually, it’s quite lovely.