We were warned. The National Weather Service predicted we'd be getting freezing rain and up to a half-inch of ice by noon today, and this time they were right. The rain kept falling and the ice kept building up. While this makes for great picture-taking opportunities, it can also cause car accidents and power outages.
Fortunately, we were able to stay cozy inside, with no interruption to the amenities we enjoy such as satellite television and internet service. We had planned to spend the day with Kara and Adam, but road conditions didn't allow for it.
I carefully ventured out at mid-day for a fifteen-minute photo session with the ice-covered plant life. It was still raining at that time and it didn't take too long for me to become damp and very cold.
I have a hard time keeping this bird feeder filled. I think the seeds are too easy for them to get to and they flick them out a lot quicker, so it's generally empty. Not that they could even get through the icy gate guarding the feeding tray anyway . . .
Come to think of it, most of the birds were in their own cozy hideaways today. I guess they're much like the airplanes that don't fly very well with ice on their wings. It was strangely quiet as I was walking around out there in the cold soupy rain.
We've got a bluebird house that we put up last spring when we saw bluebirds near the garden. I think we were a little too late for the bluebirds, but a wren made use of it. The nest is still inside the box, but we'll clean it out one of these days so it's ready for the bluebirds next spring.
Amazingly enough, there were still some colorful buds and blooms out there and they appeared to be encased in crystal. First I noticed the pelargoniums . . .
Remember the Miscanthus in the last picture from Wednesday's post? This is what it looks like now.
The 'Hameln' Pennisetum takes on the look of an otherwordly organism.
The spiraea hedge is entirely coated and I wonder if it will hurt any praying mantis cases that may be there. This hedge was home to seventeen of them last winter.
The honeysuckle (Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet') flower buds that were so colorful in the snow just a few days ago have had the red sucked right out of them now.
The catkins on Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta')
are encapsulated by the ice.
A nameless heuchera's dried flower heads are preserved in ice, looking somewhat like crystal beads.
The really only safe place to walk outside after an ice storm is in the grass. Though each blade is coated in ice, it's a cushioned surface, unlike cement, stone, and wood.
We get a little reprieve until Monday night, when more freezing rain is due in, and possibly some snow, into Tuesday. Winter has definitely arrived.