Winter Storm

We’ve had a week of snow and sleet storms. The snow hasn’t been that bad but the two rounds of sleet have covered the woods with a thick layer of ice. Trees are bent under the weight, limbs are breaking, trees are falling over. At the same time there’s a beauty with the pale white sky, snow on the ground, and ice-covered-everything.

Animals have been out and their tracks are visible in the snow. These are possum tracks, the hand-like tracks are paired like this, front and rear footprints with another set several inches away. We have possums visiting our compost piles and sheds all the time but usually we don’t see signs until there’s snow on the ground.

The first layer of ice built up during a rain when the temperature was just a tad below freezing. The photos I’m posting are all of the first layer. A few days later an additional layer of ice built up during a similar rain/sleet. The trees are starting to bud and sometimes there are large colorful buds encased in thick ice like fairy jewels.

In the garden area, to the south of the fenced garden, there’s a spot with tall grass in the summer, hip high. Here’s the dried grass from last year covered with ice.

The woods are really quiet when they are like this. Everything looks and sounds different.

Honeysuckle overhead in a sort of bower to the south of the garden fence. We move composted leaves in the spring from a pile from the previous autumn in our yard to here to finish breaking down. Last year’s leaves make this year’s mulch.

Pines with their needles collect and hold the rain. The boughs become extremely heavy when they are filled with ice like this. Large pines are bent over. Sometimes trees break, sometimes they uproot and fall over. Not just pines, I took a walk after the first ice storm and counted 4 large red oaks tipped over by the weight of the ice.

We’ll have some cleaning up to do after the ice and snow melts. We’ve kept the road open from our home to the woods gate. So far nothing large has fallen across roads, the cleanup will be mostly removing branches and tree tops.

February 19, 2021