I was nearly ready to publish this blog post late Saturday night (December 20th) when we lost our power due to the ice storm, high winds, and below zero temperatures. We didn't get it back until earlier tonight, after 41 hours without it. That - in another post.
Sometimes the weather people miss their predictions and I'm happy about it. Sometimes they get it right and I'm happy about it. Other times, they get it wrong and I cheer. And then there are the times they get it right and I wish they'd been wrong.
Take Thursday night, for example. Freezing rain, with a potential of .1 to .25 of an inch of ice was predicted. We got that, and then some, as did most of northern Indiana and northwest Ohio.
When it was all over, we ended up with .5 to 1 inch of ice that coated everything except the west side of vertical objects. Branches broke, trees fell on power lines, and travel was treacherous and very dangerous. Thousands lost power and are still without it as I write this. Ours went off briefly several times, but we never really lost it for any length of time.
There's a weather poem that pertains to fishing, but a part of it is appropriate for weather in general, in our area.
When the wind is blowing in the North
No fisherman should set forth,
When the wind is blowing in the East,
'Tis not fit for man nor beast,
When the wind is blowing in the South
It brings the food over the fish's mouth,
When the wind is blowing in the West,
That is when the fishing's best!
~ Author Unknown
There was evidence that the wind was out of the east. Not only were the west sides of trees free of ice, but the icicles hung at an angle pointing westward.
The bird feeders hanging on the pole were frozen at a similar angle. It was as if the world lost its balance.
An ice storm brings with it some beauty though. Otherwise drab winter features suddenly become glittering jewels. Nearly everyone grabs the camera to record the event, whether it be to have a record of the damage or to save the beauty to look at later.
Here at Our Little Acre, we lost some branches out of a few trees, with only one suffering major damage. The Amur Maple in the northeastern corner of the property, behind the two apple trees was completely topped out.
The weight of the ice, coupled with the wind, was just too much for its branches to take and they were broken. The tree will survive, but it will take a few years of growth before it looks somewhat normal again.
I went out to take pictures while the freezing rain was still falling. Every so often, a loud crash could be heard and it sounded like there was some logging going on all around us. Crack! Swoosh! Bam! With the trees that line both sides of the creek that runs behind our house, there were branches both small and large coming down every few minutes.
The hope was that the temperatures would rise above freezing long enough to melt the ice from the trees and power lines before the next weather system comes in, but that didn't happen. If we get the wind that is expected, there will likely be more damage and more power outages. This is one of those times when I'll be happy if the weather report is wrong.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the photos of the ice that coated Our Little Acre:
Pond fairy resting on a stump under the Willow tree
Bluebird house on Shagbark Hickory tree
Oops! Forgot to bring in the Monarch...
English Ivy on a large oak tree
Ice along the split rail fence
Oak leaf in ice
The pussy willows have taken on a festive red color.
The Weeping Willow tree in Max's Garden is twined around other plants in the garden and hangs low to the ground
Colorado Blue Spruce
The yews are literally dripping with ice
First-year Brussels sprouts that didn't quite make it to harvest
The Washington Hawthorn looks handsome as ever with its scarlet berries
Detail of berries and thorns
This close-up of Xeranthemum reminds me of those glass paperweights that have flowers inside them.
The miniature rose I pictured earlier has been preserved in ice
Icy drops suspended on a spider web
(I can't believe I even noticed this tiny thing!)
Needles on the pine tree we brought home in our suitcase from Maine in 1979
Pasque Flower foliage