By Kent Stanton
I have to credit my brother for bringing “hair ice” into my vocabulary. We had hiked up to the long-abandoned garnet mine site on Humphrey Mountain and were on our way down when he pointed out some odd looking white stuff on a log near the trail.
A first guess was that this was some kind of fungus but a closer look revealed what appeared to be tiny filaments of ice clumped together forming silky, swirling patterns. Neither of us had seen or heard of anything like this and ice didn’t really make sense. It was November, but the prior week had been unusually mild and we had not seen snow or ice anywhere on the mountain. It was a cool day, with the temperature hovering right at freezing, but the only unusual thing about the weather was that it was noticeably humid.