Saturday, January 31, 2009

Snowstorm Aftermath

There seems to be no end to the ice and cold. Last night, a predicted low "near zero" turned out to be -8 degrees here. The air was so cold and calm and with enough humidity left in the atmosphere that ice crystals began forming on trees, weeds and fences.

This shot (above) is of ice crystals clinging to a barbed wire fence along Hawvermale Road a few miles north of our house. When we were warming the car up, I pulled over, put the emergency flashers on and got out and took a few pictures. The sun was shining and the ice crystals shimmered in the early morning light. It was still -4 when this shot was taken. Brrr!

There beside the road the weeds which have survived the winter winds were coated with a hoarfrost, too. They are bending the more with the added weight, light as it may be.

Yet more weeds took on this splendid winter coat and shined with a new brilliance. When the wind comes - if it comes soon enough - the air will be full of sparkles.

Yesterday Mom asked if I had a chance to look out her bedroom window. I had already marveled at the scene but her comment reminded me to get my camera and record the novel view. This window is actually a small basement window used to fill in a small opening where the previous owners had an air conditioner. It is above the kitchen roof. The rain gutters had melted their ice dams during the day and the dripping water refroze. Then, with the orange glow of sunset, the cold view took an oddly warm vista. You can see part of the garage roof on the lower right and our barn in the distant left.

During the snowstorm of several days ago, a similar icing was seen on the garage's north side. The rain gutters were draped with ice as the pines in the distance took on their heavy winter coat of snow.
It is the prettiest when the snow is new and when it is deepest. Now that the yard has a few tracks - my own boots, animals, the electrical meter reader and the neighbor's tractor (he dug our driveway out) - the snow isn't quite so breathtaking as at first.
But that has been replaced by feathers of ice and I'm equally thankful for both.