Closeup of the ethereal ice formations of a frost flower. Frost flowers are formed when certain plants freeze while they're still pumping water through their stems. The water turns into ice and bursts through the stem as it expands. It is driven out in sheets perpendicular to the stem via the plant's capillary action, and as it continues to expand it twists and turns, forming the delicate petals of the frost flower. A little story behind this picture - I woke up before sunrise to drive to a trail in the hill country in Austin, TX. My initial intention was to photograph frozen waterfalls but instead I found a field of hundreds of these stunning ice formations (also, it turns out that the waterfalls were not frozen after all). The flowers lasted for a few hours before melting. This picture was taken near the base of a 'flower', which in its entirety was approximately 5 feet in height, traveling up the stem of the plant. It was just one of hundreds of flowers covering the hiking trail that morning. Limited gear made this shot difficult to take. I had no tripod or remote release, there was very little light as it was 6 am and cloudy, and the only lens I had with me was the D5100 kit lens. I attached a +10 Vivitar macro filter to the lens to get the magnified image of the flower. I used a low ISO with flash to make the handheld shot feasible. Very little post-processing was done on this image. It consisted of sharpening and balancing highlights and shadows in Lightroom to bring out the furling in the foreground.