Apparently fibrous growth on fallen (dead) tree branches, branches of 1 - 3cm diameter, edge of forestry, frosty weather.
Caution: Do NOT use iSpot to identify fungi to eat!
Some fungi are very poisonous so a mistaken ID could have serious consequences.
No interactions present.
It could be frost (unlikely) or a Catkin of some kind if the wood is not dead after all (pussy willow) does not look all that much like this though the "spine" in it looks like new growth.
If it is a fungus it is new to me and i will wait for an ID with interest.
This is more likely if there was no wind overnight. When i have seen this it has always been "shaped" by the wind even just a little breath.
A quote from a German Mycologist on the subject.
"It occures when temperature is constantly slightly below 0° together with a constantly high humidity. It is caused by water pressed out through the openings of the wood or bark by gases (CO2 e.g.) caused by activity of fungal mycelia inside.
So, it is NOT a fungus, but it is caused by fungal activity."
This is certainly a credible explanation for some of these 'beards', but it does not accord with my extensive experience of them, nor with the fact that you can get them on living tissue as well. In Highland they occur typically at well below 0 deg C, and in relatively low humidity, in bright clear cold still winter anticyclones. I think there are more factors at play.
What I find most fascinating about them is how thousands of tiny independent ice-threads remain separated by a tiny space, and especially how they form complex curls all in parallel. That is the explanation I really would like to hear.
recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.
I have most commonly seen it after freezing fog and it is on the down wind sides of the twigs. I have even seen it on a car aerial where i had to clean it off due to distraction caused by it waving violently once the build up became significant. For the image we see here it must have been dead calm weather.
I think what your are describing here is a different phenomenon. The ice-beard as here is formed at least initially from tiny cylinders of water forced out by the expansion of freezing from the vessels and other channels in the wood. Maybe fungal activity helps in some cases. Your car aerial, I assume, does not have a structure like the conducting tissues of wood, so must be produced by a different mechanism.
Lat/Lng: 55.3661, -3.0339
OS grid ref: NT345084