Saturday, February 24, 2007


It's early spring in the midwest; a strong low pressure area has come growling out of the southwest, thundering towards the Great Lakes. We're having an ice storm now, with the power going on and off, with limbs crashing to the ground every time the wind tosses the treetops back and forth... and the storm is just winding up; the clouds overhead are racing clear across the sky in a few seconds, with six to twelve inches of snow expected tonight on top of the ice. Earlier, the robins were hopping about in the back yard, but they are nowhere to be seen now... as I look out the window, pieces of ice from the trees are flying by the window horizontally. The only ones enjoying this are the meteorolgists on television; they are pink cheeked and smiling, on center stage for the weekend. In their bright polyester jackets they look like the robins that this morning were scooting around our yard. Scrolling across the bottom of the t.v. screen is news of weather related cancellation after cancellation: plays, sporting events, meetings, classes... all kaput; they go on for hours. This winter is too long by far.
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Hasn't this been a bugger? At 4:00 yesterday the rain came pounding down followed shortly by the snow. It snowed all night and is still snowing now. When I looked at my Desktop Wether it shows snow every day next week! The seasons have been all screwed up this year. You got a good photo there.
Hello Don;

Your picture reminded me of January 1998 in Vermont when an incredible ice storm hit the state, crippling power and freezing people and homes for several weeks in places. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has a little site from back then which gves a summary.

To this day if you drive over the "gaps" as they are called here--where the highways go kind of east-west over the tall mountains that parallel the Green Mountain range and the north-south Champlain Valley along the western side of the state--Brandon Gap, Lincoln Gap, Middlebury Gap/Breadloaf Mountain--if you stop at the top of any of these and look down you can still see the ice storm destruction from back then.

We were seriously concerned about the sugar maples statewide as this storm affected 700,000 acres. Maple syrup production in Vermont is an important piece of our economy.Although the trees were really beaten up so badly I thought they might "bleed" to death come spring, they recovered. The amount of dead wood which remains in the forests is of great concern, however, because if a fire every started, control would be about impossible.

Oddly, we were surrounded by the storm here at 1500 feet but if you traveled just 200 feet down the hill in any direction, the devestation began. The preceeding fall the power company had hired a crew to trim the lines around here and my wife fed the guys well with apple pies, carrot cakes and such to keep them here doing a better job. Barter is a good thing.

Walk carefully. Ice has no hold until you are on the ground "holding" it.

George Africa
Don, I wholeheartedly agree! I know winter serves its purpose, but ice storms? I'm just not sure what purpose they serve. But I hope you guys are digging out today, and at least we're not getting the snow that was forecast to fall all day today, too!
Sally... we lost a TON of big limbs from the ice.
George... the only thing that saved us from catastrophe this time was that we didn't get the 10" of wet heavy snow on top of the ice that they had predicted.
Genie... It actually warmed up enough to melt some of the ice today.
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