Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Weather matters

We're having another "ice storm". That's where it drizzles or rains, and the temperatures are low enough that it comes down as ice or freezes right away. Ice coats everything.

The worst part of it is that the streets are impossible to use. Tuesday evening, from the back of the house I could hear a loud noise: the wheels of a big SUV in the street, attempting to move up the slight incline on which we are situated. As I watched from the front door, the driver was at last able to back into a driveway and turn around to head downhill. Immediately, no more spinning; they just rolled peacefully away, nicely avoiding my son's car parked in the street.

Just as the streets are impassable, so the schools are closed. Tuesday, Wednesday, and now Thursday! The melting began today (Wednesday), but the freezing temperatures on Thursday will continue through the morning. What's that? Ice on the streets. And I don't just mean the ice we have had from people who continue to run their lawn sprinklers through the winter months. You know, those sprinklers which inevitably spread more water on the pavement than on the poor grass fighting for dormancy. Don't get me started!

Oh, I just said the worst part was the ice on the streets--Nope, the worst part is being sick in bed when the kids are home! Oh, the agony, not being able to put them to work properly. My agent, their oldest brother, did get them moving after awhile, but the pull of the video game was upon them. They did get their homework done Wednesday, however, and actually ventured outside in the sunshine.

Having to languish in my little corner of home left me without resources to take photos of what can be a magical time. You see the sparkling ice on the branches of trees and plantlife, the layer of white covering everything else, making daytime ghosts of ordinary objects. I do, however, have some photos from the "ice storm" a year ago. Well, okay, December 2007 but close enough. Things were a little more dire that time. This winter the power company actually made their way through the neighborhoods and trimmed tree branches away from power lines. Seemed an improvement, as we didn't have thousands of homes without power in this city.

Here you are, your reward for reading this far:

Hidden treasure

We found this beautiful slice of tree trunk along the walk, on our way to a Red Dirt Rangers children's concert. It perhaps demonstrates why so many trees did fall simply from ice.

Although, it does not explain why the tree in our backyard snapped the way it did. Can you tell which piece used to go where?

Tree down

Oh alright, a little more dramatic, and you can see more of what happened:

Another view of tree down

It was amazing to see in person, such a large limb changed like that. And it so considerately missed the wretched garage. Why do you think it snapped?

This was a bit of bad luck.

A bit of bad luck

The branch wasn't that big - but fell at just the right angle, I suppose. The car hasn't been the same since. Ho-hum.

Stay tuned for more winter magic from this corner of the world. I have to survive the end of this ailment and possibly a major dental appointment, so be patient, won't you? :~)

{All photos available for closer examination on my Flickr page}


Annie Wicking said...

Your poor car, just standing around minding its own business then bang...

It's turning cold here at the weekend so I hope we don't get anything like that here.

best wishes,

donnac1968 said...

I love wintery photos, we are quite temperate here and will maybe get a max. of 5 days a year looking like this.

I keep forgetting to look at your blog because you were away so long, but then I get a lovely surprise when I see a new post.

David said...

You poor thing! Living in London we don't usually ever get much below 0 C in January - though the canal did freeze over six days running last week - so we are spared your ice travails and troubles. However, the ill wind at least blows the rest of us your fab photos!

Nina said...

Annie: I like the way you put it. Oddly enough, the previous spring that car narrowly avoided the same sort of incident. I suppose we could look into how much dead wood may remain above that spot! And how much of the winter weather have you received this week?

Donna: So you're getting your five days right now, eh? Keep snapping while you can, your photos are very nice!

David: Ha! Spoke too soon, you did. How is everyone getting around where you are? At least you have snow, however. We don't often get the soft, pretty - more like the icey, pretty. And usually within a week it's all thawed and repairs can begin. Okieland doesn't seem to be able to deal with massive winter weather the way the northern regions can.

David said...

I rather did didn’t I? Monday almost all public transport was dead, leading to a long trek through the three-six inches from the Three Bridge Kingdom to Westminster. Yesterday was ice and compacted snow and today thin ice crusting everything from the canal to pavements. We used to have weather like this every year during my childhood, but now it is a one in twenty occurrence, so there very little capacity for coping with it. Best of all, it’s due to start falling again tomorrow.

Janice Thomson said...

Nina I hadn't realized you were back again. So good to see you!
What awful ice storms happened in the US - a lot of damage as well as power outages. The weather is changing dramatically in many places. This area is a rain forest yet had a long 2 months of record snow and freezing temps. The poor animals are somewhat confused too. Because of so much snow the eagles became garbage scavengers - something you just don't see.
Fantastic photos Nina!