Tag Archive | winter weather

Crystal Glaze

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.

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Snow, At Last

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A dusting on Dec 27

A too warm winter follows too warm every other season in 2015 here at the farm in Maine.  Fall was long and balmy and extended into December.  It was in the 50s and sunny on Christmas Day. To celebrate the day and burn off some of the Christmas morning cinnamon buns, we went for a long walk on our snowless property.

November and most of December weather consisted of sunny, warm days separated by spells of driving rain, even some flooding.  We received two dustings of snow that quickly melted. Had those massive rain storms been snow, we’d be covered by several feet by now.

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Today’s storm

The joy surrounding the arrival of an actual Nor’easter, as New Englanders call these storms off the ocean with northeast winds and bands of heavy snow, can be understood and even forgiven. Maine needs snow in winter.  How are we supposed to snowshoe and ski and ride our snowmobiles without it?  And what will protect the roots of the hay grass from brutal arctic blasts if there is no insulating blanket of snow?  How will we make it through a long, hot summer drought without the snow to fill up the water table? Most Mainers love snow.

This storm promises to drop 8-12 inches of white stuff, enough to make us all happy.  The only Mainers less than enthused about the storm are the mourning doves and other birds scrabbling in the snow for their meals.a3