Nature is certainly capable of creating some pretty amazing things, and one resident of Sparta, Michigan, just happened to be in the right place at the right time to see one of the winter’s most beautiful formations.
Last week, Andrew Sietsema was pruning some apple trees after freezing rain had hit the area and while he was working, he snapped a few pictures of what he has since dubbed “ghost apples.”
Sietsema, who manages a local orchard told that the apples are of the Jonagold variety, “but we’ll call these Jona-ghosts,” he said. He estimated the ice to be about 1/2-inch thick, and that the apples “felt like Christmas tree bulbs.“
So, how exactly does something like this form?
The flesh of some apples, especially those that remain on trees late after the harvest season, will decay into almost an applesauce-like consistency. The skin keeps it in like a filled water balloon.
Due to a combination of freezing rain and prolonged subzero temperatures, ice initially encased the whole fruit, but then the rotted apple mush seeped out from the bottom of the icy sphere, leaving the detailed, hollowed-out impression of an apple.
I like the term ‘ghost apple.’