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Morning photo: Crystalline magic

From the vault …

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Smooth, round ripples and jagged frost crystals contrast along the Snake River.

FRISCO — To celebrate the start of the season of snow and ice I dug back into the archives from about a year ago, finding that — surprise — Dillon Reservoir was already frozen over by this date in 2011. By mid-December, the ice-sailing season was in full swing, as local afficionados of the sport took advantage of a few weeks of clear ice. Just like this year, I was scouring the banks of local streams and creeks, sometimes getting lost in the magical world of frost crystals growing from the water vapor above the streams.

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There’s so much going on in the streams as they freeze up; bubbles, flow, shelves and delicate crystals all piled into an ice sandwich at a narrow spot along the Snake River.

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The crystals, anywhere from a quarter inch to an inch long, are incredibly fragile. They can barely withstand a warm breath, much less a touch, so taking closeups requires some maneuvering, not mention some breath-holding skills.

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A boulder in the stream serves as an anchor point for crystal formation.

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Ice forms in the flow.

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Delicate crystals sprout on equally delicate ice ledge.

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Is filigreed the right word for this?

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Spiky!

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