The First Snowfall in the Blue Ridge

Winters in the Southern Highlands are mild when compared to the regions North of us.  In the City of Asheville, North Carolina we just had the first snowfall of the 2009 winter season - at least the first one that did not melt within a day.

The Lion & The Rose First Snow 2009 Lion & Rose Side Garden

Predicting the first snow in Asheville is impossible...some years it comes as early as November, sometimes not until March or April and, every now and then, there is no snow at all.  The unpredictability of it makes it that much more exciting.

In the higher elevations of the mountains all around us it's more of a sure thing.  Regardless of when or where it settles, the result is breathtaking.  See for yourself...

Looking Glass Falls Winter Mountain Trees

During the winter, the surrounding mountaintops will be covered in white.  It looks like they're covered in snow, but it is more likely to be rime ice.  Rime ice is formed when water droplets in clouds or fog freeze to the trees and ground cover.  Usually the rime ice forms only on the windward (wind facing) slope of the mountain as the clouds sweep over the ridge.  The result is nature's own ice sculpture.

Rime Ice at Craggy Pinnacle