Monday, December 22, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

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:

Blue berry on Cedar tree

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


Helen/patientgardener said...

Those frozen flowers are amazing but I dont envy you that horrid weather - hope you keep warm and have a good Xmas

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh my gosh Kylee. I am glad to see that you are ok. That was some storm. Your pictures capture the moment. The ice necklace is beautiful as are the flowers encased in ice. I hope your power stays on now and they have the weak link fixed.

F Cameron said...

Amazing -- the beauty, yet the damage and danger of all the ice and snow.

Hope you have a safe, warm and happy holiday with your family.

Merry Christmas!

Wayne Stratz said...

wow, can't pick a favorite these photos are awesome.

we got ice but less. than the wind blew and tried to shake it off the trees.

Be careful. glad your power is back on.

MyMaracas said...

We nearly chose the same post title today, LOL. We're in northern Indiana, and these shots could have been taken in my own back yard. Your photos are spectacular, and I especially love the frozen drop in the spider web. I hope your landscape comes through with minimal damage!

Lona said...

I did not realize how bad the ice hit the northern part of the state. I hope you will be able to keep your electricity on and that the weight of the ice does not damage too much. Hope you have no hard winds until it melts.
But oh my, what beautiful pictures it makes.Everything looks like it is encased in crystal. The flowers do look like paper weights.
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Lona, from southeastern Ohio

Connie said...

Wow, Kylee...amazing, beautiful photos! Thanks for braving the weather to share them with us. I hope you stay warm...with the lights on. :-)

Barbee' said...

The beauty of your photos is WOWing!

Anonymous said...

These are amazing photos! Stay warm and Merry Christmas!

Ernie Sue in Utah

Unknown said...

Merry Christmas, Kylee!

For all of the destruction they show, your ice pictures are beautiful. I especially like the pasqueflower foliage. Very nice job--I'm sure you risked slipping around to get these amazing shots!

Dana S. Whitney said...

Gorgeous photographs... beautiful macros. I hope that things warm up before the heavy ice snaps off too many leaves & branches.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Wow! These are amazingly beautiful! You should enter some kind of contest with these pics.

I hope it's all melted by now.

Unknown said...

When I had called my parents on that weekend to talk, my mother told me that Fort Wayne was getting pounded by an ice storm. She did not know at the time how bad. I now see how bad! Looks like all of northern eastern Indiana and western Ohio got pounded. It is pretty, but very damaging. Thanks for posting those great pictures.

Jan said...

Hi Kylee, I'm just now getting around to your blog...somehow I didn't realize you were going through all of this mess! Your photos are enchanting! Despite getting cold to take them, they will be awesome to look at later;) Jan

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