April 08, 2008


March went out like a lion here in Utah, with several more inches of snow in the valleys and several more feet in the mountains. But this is nothing compared to Japan's Tohoku region--where accumulations are counted in double digits--despite the superficial similarities in alpine geography.

Especially noteworthy are  "juhyou" (樹氷), or "frost-covered trees" (tree + ice). They are a product of Japan's "snow country," where cold Siberian winds meet warm Pacific currents, creating record snowfalls at fairly low latitudes (similar to the Appalachians of the mid-Atlantic region). The result is a natural flocking machine.

See a gorgeous photo essay on the subject here.

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