Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Ice Storm Cometh

Thursday, February 12, 2009
A tree sparrow waits for the feeders to be refilled the morning after our ice storm.

On the night of January 27, 2009, southeastern Ohio (and parts of the surrounding states) was blanketed with a horrible ice storm. Freezing rain—not snow—fell, despite temperatures in the low 20's and every single exposed surface was encased in ice.

Throughout the night we heard repeated cracking and crashing noises as trees gave way under the weight of the ice. We dreaded waking up to see what the world would look like after the ice storm.

This has been a hard winter, as our winters go. Lots of cold temperatures for days and weeks at a time. Snow that sticks around well past its welcome. This has resulted in many snow days for the kids and quite a few power outages.

We can cope fairly well with the power outages. And we can make fun out of the challenges of no power and no vehicular mobility. But I always worry about the birds and animals which have no heated shelter.

Here are some of the images that greeted us around the farm the morning after the ice storm.

Our ancient pear tree completely iced. The sunlight glints off its clear shell of frozen water.

Martin gourds where our eastern bluebirds roost on cold winter nights.

A forsythia twig, dead flower stems preserved in ice.

The rain came down and froze immediately onto whatever it struck.

Frozen tears on the weeping willow.

White-tailed deer were standing up on their hind legs and pawing at the heavy sumac fruit clusters, desperate for access to any food.

We put out extra food for the birds, deer, squirrels, rabbits, and anyone else in protected spots around the yard. Needless to say we had to replenish these feeding areas several times during the day.


On February 12, 2009 at 11:51 AM rmharvey said...

The weather vane photo reminded me of some spectacular ejections I have seen performed by Great Blue Herons.

On February 14, 2009 at 6:54 PM robin andrea said...

Your photo of the tree sparrow is beautiful, and reminds me that I've seen house finches with similarly crossed bills. Quite a spectacular storm you had there.

On February 14, 2009 at 8:26 PM Mary said...

It's behind you now. Hard times, good memories, all seen so beautifully in your photos!