AN ICY VALENTINE

 

The day before Valentine's 2007, a big winter storm swept across the Midwest and

into the Northeast.  It snowed all day the 13th, a really light fluffy snow that piled up

rapidly. I swept the sidewalk each time it got to be about 3 inches deep, doing that

several times. Then the snow changed to an icy rain, which went on all night, knocking

the snow off the branches and coating them with ice. The weight of the ice atop the

fluffy snow compacted it so the next day it didn't look as though we had gotten all

that much. Then on Valentine's Day itself, it snowed more, but by afternoon a sharp

wind came in and blew all the new snow off the ice on the branches. That night it got

down to 5 degrees.  This morning, the 15th, the sun is out but it's extremely cold.

These pictures were taken early this morning, even before I ate breakfast. The area

I could walk in was rather circumscribed by snow and ice, so the pictures were taken

in a relatively small space around my house. Though I had gloves on, my fingers were

numb in minutes, so most of these were taken with frozen clubs rather than hands.

But I was thoroughly enjoying myself, especially when the sun would glitter brightly

off the ice like in the top picture below.

 

 

 

These are lilac branches at the end of my walk.

 

 

The evergreens had the hardest go of it, with both snow and ice coating their needles. This

branch is bent waaay lower than it usually is.

 

 

I took this one off the end of our big front porch (house is backwards, remember) with

the snow on the pine there and beyond, ice glittering on a wild cherry.

 

 

This is the top of a wild cherry looking straight off the front of my big porch.

 

 

The pine at the end of the big porch, showing ice on a power line running into my house.

 

 

A 3-part stump I can see off that end of the porch. A bunny has obviously hopped by.

 

 

Treetops, taken from the top of the steps on the big porch. That's my maple closest on the left.

 

 

Also from the top of the steps, looking past my maple down the ridge.

 

 

A closer-up view of the area on the right in the picture above this one. When the snow

is on the ground like this, it is easy to see the path the old dirt road up to the front of our

house used to follow.  Is just to the right of the two power poles.

 

 

A zoom looking straight from my porch into the woods. Because of the white in the distance,

it looks like the woods just go on, but actually from about the halfway point of this picture

they fall off in a hundred-foot cliff to a stream at the bottom and what is showing in the

top half are the woods across the valley.

 

 

This is what I call "the little porch", which is actually the back porch but serves as the main

entrance since the house is backwards. I'm standing under bent lilacs on the walk I swept.

That's the kitchen window on the bottom right and my bedroom window is on the top right.

 

 

I took this on the little porch looking toward our mailbox.  I liked the way these three birds

were having a meeting in the snow.

 

 

This is also taken standing on the little porch toward my bubble with its cap of snow. The

evergreen I hollowed out a few years back, cutting out all the dead branches to make what

I call "the thicket" a la Bambi's story, wherein I have all sorts of statues of animals.

 

 

This is looking back at our house from in front of Joe's, our bachelor neighbor with the red car.

The evergreen is the one the thicket is under.  Many a long year ago it was someone's live

Christmas tree which they planted there after the holidays. It's gotten quite huge and is rather taking

over the yard. Directly in front of it are lilacs and the top picture in this album was taken through

those. To the left of the lilacs are way bent down old yews with more lilacs growing up through them.

In front of the yews is a rounded mound where a tall tree stump was when we first moved in in

early 1989.  I planted honeysuckle to cover it, but now the stump has rotted away and all that is

left is the mound of honeysuckle. We don't have a garage and park our car to the right of Joe's.

 

 

This was taken standing in the area where we park the car. On the right, the yews have

ended and it becomes pure lilacs again, but they are bending dramatically under the weight

of the ice.  Straight ahead is my "tunnel" (see my flowers album for what it looks like in

bloom). Beyond that is my maple tree.  The lower of the two windows is my stair landing

one and the higher is a bedroom that I've turned into a playroom for the Horde.

 

 

This is taken on the sidewalk, looking through the Christmas evergreen toward the house.

The white part is a bathroom that was added on beside the kitchen many years ago. It

sags slightly and the toilet is a bit tipped. It is under this that my pipes froze over the weekend.

 

 

Off the little porch again, looking down the sidewalk.  You can see clearly here how the lilacs

in the yews are bending way over the sidewalk.  You have to duck to go under them.

 

 

An icy treetop...

 

 

A neighbor's mailbox.  I liked its cap of snow and rim of icicles.

 

 

 

A nicely-pointed snowcap

 

 

The bent lilacs at the end of our walk, showing our mailbox and the Christmas evergreen.

 

 

Standing just to the right of my mailbox, looking across through the lilacs. I imagine I'll have

to cut that branch that's sticking straight out.

 

 

My pink spirea. I always like the way it looks with snow on it.

 

 

That lilac branch that will probably have to go.  The sun sets over where that red car is,

so most of my sunset pictures in my sky album have been taken looking thataway.  There

are, alas, power lines there that tend to bugger them up and I crop them when I can.

 

 

Back inside, I took this through one of my dining room windows.  I have all sorts of things

in them that make rainbows that dance all about me in the mornings here at my computer.

 

 

Out my kitchen window...

 

 

My blue poppies with a curvy icicle beyond.

 

 

The little porch, looking toward Christmas evergreen.

 

 

Off the big porch, a wild cherry on the left, the red tops of sumac straight ahead.

 

 

Looking up from beside the mailbox.

 

 

My double yellow kerria bush

 

 

Close-up of kerria

 

 

The kerria at a slightly different time of year.

 

 

Ok, so now it's 4 PM on Feb. 17th and the ice is just spectacular in a whole new

way in the late afternoon light.  These are the tops of the lilacs along the walk again.

 

 

A bit of new snow this morning atop the old ice in the lilacs that grow up

through the yews.

 

 

Top of the maple tree to the left of our parking place.

 

 

Lilacs close up...

 

 

Looking through the lilacs to the maple...

 

 

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