Fresh snow is pristine, quiet and if you don’t have to shovel, feed livestock or drive on drifted roads, downright dazzling. Photojournalist, Harlen Persinger, captures the brilliant beauty of a winter storm and how the prairie landscape transforms when Mother Nature delivers a blanket of white.
1. Magic potion
Snowflakes are created when water vapor in the air freezes into a solid and cascade to Earth.
2. Calling cards
The exact formation of a snowflake is greatly influenced by external factors, such as temperature, humidity and wind.
3. Winter's sojourn
It can never be too cold for snow as long as there’s enough moisture in the air.
4. Fine lines
A snowflake's intricate hexagonal shape reflects the patterns it creates when its parts — two-thirds part water molecules made up of two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen — bond together.
5. Ivory landscape
Falling snowflakes are literally made up of quintillions of water molecules.
6. Classy coats
Frost is fashioned in white because the ice crystals contain air.
7. Art treasure
Hoar frost occurs when water vapor such as fog touches a very cold surface and freezes on it instantly.
8. Prickly points
Rime frost occurs when a damp, icy wind blows over surfaces during very low temperatures.
9. Chilly treat
Hoar frost or soft rime stacks up like frosting on a cake.
10. Rooster tails
In particularly cold weather, fern frost may appear on windows, creating beautiful patterns of ice crystals; hence the name.
11. Firm grasp
Advection frost (also called wind frost) refers to tiny ice spikes forming when a very cold wind blows over tree branches, plants, wire and other surfaces.
12. Pure package
Snow is stuck with its white shade because it reflects light.
13. True original
Although millions fall every year, the likelihood of any two snowflakes having the same structure is incredibly slim.
14. White blanket
In the past month an abundance of fresh snow has covered large areas of the drought-stricken Great Plains and Midwest.
15. Good vibes
Streams, ponds, watersheds and reservoirs receive the primary benefits from a late spring snowstorm.
16. Quick getaway
Due to runoff, a late winter snow has only a minimal impact in terms of recharging soil moisture.
17. Delicate mirage
Sublimation occurs in late winter. During this process, ice and snow crystals convert directly to water vapor and the snow pack recedes without ever becoming water.