January 30, 2010

Winter Storm

Last night when we went to bed, snow flakes were gently falling. This morning when we got up, this is what I saw out the window.....

Quite a bit different from these, taken just earlier this month. Still, not bad compared to what others of you have been experiencing.

When I went outside for a closer look, I discovered that our driveway was almost on it's way to becoming an ice skating pond.....

If the ground hadn't warmed up over the past several days, it would have been frozen solid. As it was, the ice was just a layer on top.




A closer examination showed that the white stuff on the ground was not snow, but ice crystals....




Very pretty to look at and photograph, but in our part of the country (southeastern US in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains) the ice can become unbearably heavy and do this...

This poor crepe myrtle just can't take the weight. If the ice gets too thick on the branches of larger trees, the danger is that they'll fall on power lines and we'll lose electricity.

Currently it's still raining and the temperature is barely above freezing. Hopefully this means that the ice accumulation will be minimal. In the meantime, it's a good day for staying inside and completing my seed order!

Winter Storm photos & text copyright January 2010 



13 comments:

charlotte said...

This is amazing, I've never seen frozen rain like this before! Here in northern Norway we have unusally little snow, but cold, so we have been skating a lot on the frozen ponds. Small paths and small roads are difficult to walk on because of the thick ice layer that covers everything except the bigger roads.

Annie said...

And we have unusually much snow here in Holland - but these icy shrubs are quite special! We haven't had these yet.
Beautiful photos again, Leigh!

Alison said...

wow. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before - incredibly beautiful, but as you say, heavy and destructive.

Hope you stay warm and well=lit over the coming days!

Robin said...

How beautiful. Stay warm over there.

Kathy said...

Sorry I haven't been by for a bit - but you know how our weather has been and the current cat situation....
Your photos are really nice, Leigh. Isn't is amazing that weather that can be so rough is at the same time beautiful, IF you take the time to look? I do hope the plants will be OK - and bend without breaking.
Keep warm, safe and dry...and may certain furry creatures enjoy the warmth of the hearth! Give Mr. Rascal a pat from me, will ya?

Katrien said...

That's an icestorm for you!
Luckily ours wasn't so bad. The snow turned to ice on the trees, but luckily it soon melted off - what with those gusts of wind (60 mph!).

Funny, but until now I was wondering whereabouts you live. I must have missed that piece of information somehow.

What did this do to your veg garden, your winter harvest?

Stay warm and have fun with the seed order,

Katrien

Renee said...

when we get a freeze like that or snow, I go out and rip the leaves off of my trees that will be injured by it (I know you can't do that with the larger trees). It seems to help my fruit trees and I haven't seen any damage with the next year's crop because of it.

Leigh said...

Charlotte, it's interesting how winter weather presents itself in different parts of the world. This type of winter rain falls as liquid but freezes when it hits the trees, etc.

Annie, it seems the winters are unusual everywhere! I love going out and exploring on days like today, even if it does get pretty chilly!

Alison, the temperature hovered just above freezing today, so some of the surface ice melted. But with temps plummeting again tonight, it will all refreeze. Fortunately no more rain is falling.

Robin, we're trying! :)

Kathy, so good to have you visiting again. There hasn't been any more freezing rain, so I think all the plants will bounce right back. As you can imagine, Rascal had absolutely no interest in going out today!

Katrien, I'm curious too about how my fall garden will do. Fortunately the ground didn't freeze, though earlier this month it was frozen for about a week or so.

As for my location, I'm in northwestern South Carolina. It's not only pretty, but we have a wonderfully long growing season.

Renee, I hadn't thought about doing that, but like you I want to help my trees! We looked at our little fruit trees today, but it's too early yet to tell how they're doing. Well, I hope!

Sharon said...

Just wow. Some of your photos look like fairy beading - lovely. Rain is a rare occurrence here. I don't think we've ever had your phenomenon. We get crystals from the air that attach themselves to the plant structures, rather like Christmas tree flocking. No plants are damaged.

I'm reading A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester right now and am fascinated at how this one orb has so many variances. You and I live on one continent, yet your experience is alien to me. Isn't it marvelous?!!

Leigh said...

Sharon, it is a marvel, isn't it. I think we have the Internet, especially blogging, to thank for our growing appreciation of that, because until I started with that, I didn't have half a clue. Plus, personal photos are so much more interesting than those in books or magazines, because they often include personal experiences to go with them.

Julie said...

It looks very cold! I'm getting really tired of seeing white here and I'm so hoping that spring is just around the corner. I'm glad that we don't get that ice forming on the trees!

bspinner said...

It's amazing how dangerous and beautiful ice is. Personally I hate it. I've had two car accidents due to ice. Great pictures!!!!

Mother's Moon's Message said...

beautiful pictures... our ice storm is still with us... it is melting slowly.. stay warm and safe... it can be a mess out there