Hair Ice and Needle Ice

With the recent colder weather there have been a number of sightings of beautiful hair ice on the Quantocks.  It is associated with the presence of the fungus Exidiopsis effusa within decomposing wood. The fungus has a component which stabilises the ice in the hair form as it extends from the pores of the wood, only occurring at a specific moisture level, temperature and temperature differential between the wood and air.  

You might have also spotted needle ice with the ground being so wet before the colder weather, particularly on the wetter tracks.  Needle ice is not associated with fungus, it is created when the ground temperature is above freezing but the air temperature is below freezing.  Liquid water in the soil raises to the surface by capillary action, then freezes and creates a growing needle-like ice column.