Last year we had a blizzard which is atypical winter weather in Central Oklahoma. Yesterday we had more typical severe winter weather: the Ice Storm. Temperatures started to drop below freezing early Sunday morning, then the rain started. We had very little accumulation, but the weather models were predicting a resurgence in the storm on Sunday night. We took advantage of the lull to prepare. We brought in lots of firewood, I got some baking done, and we filled the tub with water.
Rain fell again after dark and the accumulation of ice began in earnest. We were lucky that a lot of the rain came down during thunderstorms and didn’t have time to freeze, and the ground was well above freezing (that’s liquid water in our pond). By Monday morning an inch of rain had fallen but only half an inch of it had frozen. Our trees were holding up fairly well with only a few broken limbs. As we expected, we did lose power, around 5:30 AM on Monday, and was out for 12 hours. We faired rather well. The fireplace kept the living areas comfortably warm, and the water in our pressure tank lasted throughout the outage (using water judiciously). We toasted bread and boiled water in the grill for breakfast, roasted hotdogs in the fire for lunch, and had a full meal using the grill (even though the power had come on by then) for dinner.
Thankfully ice storms don’t normally last long but they do wreak havoc as they pass through. Mind you, we fared a LOT better than most in the State. The trees in town were devastated, taking down power lines as they collapsed. I expected the power to be out for days, but the linemen from our electric cooperative were out making repairs all through the storm, as we listened on the scanner. We heard them announce they were re-energizing the circuit at Hwy 9 in Little Axe (next “town” east of us), and on came the fridge. Woo hoo!
Today it continues to rain, melting all the ice, so I’m glad I took the opportunity to walk around yesterday between rainfalls and snap a few shots.
I was worried about our big Bradford pear. Even though the South side is still heavily leafed, the ice accumulated more on the North side giving the tree this splitting appearance. But the branches held and the tree is rebounding as the ice load melts.
The ground wasn’t frozen but everything above the ground had a thick coating of ice, like these grass leave. The splashing from the rain gave the leaves a coating of sand making me think of worms or noodles. I call these ice worms.
A lot of the willows around the pond bent their branches to the ground giving me this beautiful icy tangle.
Some of the branches twisted after the icicles had form, creating this weird candy cane effect as the icicles turned back towards the ground.
There were beautiful icicles on everything, no doubt considerably multiplying the weight of the ice on fragile branches.
Even the fencing was given a shiny coat of ice, looking like gem facets.
The most northern pine tree along the driveway was also given a heavy load of ice, lowering some boughs to the ground.
The framing of the boughs gave me an opportunity to take this pretty, but fleeting, wintry picture up our driveway.
Fleeting, because the rain continues to fall, the ice continues to melt and the boughs are returning to their upright position.