The ice storm two days ago left everything on the farm glazed in a layer of shimmering crystal. Every twig and blade gleams in the sun, a fantastic winter landscape. The slightest breeze sets the branches swaying against one another in myriad musical chimes.
The day after the storm was warm and some of the ice melted. An ice coating about 1/4″ thick remains, bending limbs and boughs dangerously toward the snapping point. Every so often, an overloaded branch breaks with a resounding crack. The supple birch trees bow to the ground with the weight. Most will never stand straight again. We will probably have to cut this birch as it leans right over the driveway now.
We lost power for over two and a half hours during the storm. Some still have not gotten their electrical supply restored. Dinner the night of the storm was ham and cheese sandwiches by candlelight instead of the turkey stroganoff I had planned.
The day after the storm I drove to town. In one place, a downed, dead electric line snaked across most of my travel lane. The stressed-out utility workers merely cut the line and left it to collect later. Large trees were uprooted and hung dangerously over the road in other areas. Our neighbor lost several major branches from his pine that fell close to the road.
Although the ice can be dangerous and a serious inconvenience, for a brief time it turns even the most mundane landscape into a glittering wonderland before the temperatures rise and the glaze drips away into memories.