Rare hoar frost at Newgrange and Knowth

Rare hoar frost at Newgrange and Knowth

Ireland has been in the grip of a cold spell over the past week or so. Last night, temperatures in the Boyne Valley fell to minus 3C, and conditions were just perfect for the formation of a rare hoar frost on the trees, hedgerows and grass. The last time we saw hoar frost here was in 2010.

I took the opportunity to bring the cameras and drone to Newgrange and Knowth to capture the magic of a white landscape being illuminated by the early morning midwinter sun, just five days before winter solstice.

Knowth hoar frost from above

Here is a drone image of Knowth and some of its satellite mounds. The rising sun had begun to melt some of the hoar frost, creating an interesting pattern of green and white on the mounds. You can purchase prints and mounted prints of this image here.

 Newgrange in the midwinter sun

Newgrange looked resplendent in the brilliant midwinter sun. It was still minus 2C when I took these photographs. The old beech tree facing the monument was covered with hoar frost.

 Plant with hoar frost

This plant in front of Newgrange was covered with spikes of hoar frost. They are very delicate structures of ice which form in rare conditions. We don't experience too many cold spells like the one currently freezing the country.

 Melting hoar frost at Knowth

Those parts of the great monument of Knowth and some of its satellites facing the sun were verdant green, while the rest was still under frost. That made for a dramatic contrast in colours, which can be seen in the above aerial image. The Boyne river and Hill of Slane are in the background. You can purchase prints and mounted prints of this image here.

 Icy road to Newgrange

The road to Newgrange, which had not been treated/gritted, was covered with ice, making driving conditions challenging! I was the only visitor to the monument for about an hour and a half and enjoyed a beautiful peaceful and brilliant landscape.

Newgrange and beech tree with hoar frost

The old beech tree at Newgrange was covered with hoar frost. Its shadow was touching the entrance to the passage of the great monument. This drone shot captures the beauty of that scene. You can purchase prints and mounted prints of this image here.

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