Saturday, February 07, 2009

When God Made Ice Scupltures in the Ozarks

I finally have my pictures of the ice storm loaded. I took some the first couple of days, but after that I didn't have too many. I was just too cold to go outside and take many more.

This was our pond and the pastures behind us, followed by the frozen forest. I know it looks like snow, but it isn't. That was all solid ice. The grass looked like a field of ice sculptures. It was stunningly beautiful, though treacherous to walk on.

Our orchard trees all suffered a lot of damage. The weight of the ice caused the limbs to break off, and some trees actually split in half. We couldn't walk in the front yard the first two days at all because the trees were still falling apart. None of us wanted a big bonk on the head with a frozen tree. This cardinal was flitting through the fallen branches, looking for food, I think. I really hope all the birds will return to our trees this spring.

This was one shot of our front yard. Where the trees look bare is where the limbs fell off. You can see that the piles of fallen limbs were as tall as our porch railing. You can also see the remaining limbs bent over as they worked on falling off. Some of these had already broken, but got stuck as they fell. We have to rent a pole chainsaw so we can get them out to avoid having them crash down unexpectedly.
This was our orchard. That largest tree used to be mostly upright. You can see where our power line was torn down in this shot.
I was so glad this tree didn't land on my favorite bench. Not only did my photo prop remain intact, but it provides a really good sense of size. That is the top of one of my oak trees lying behind it.
Another tree snapped in half.
The icicles were hanging everywhere; the sheds, the barbed wire fences, the benches, the roof, the vehicles. There were even icicles hanging off of icicles.
These are small branches, about .25 inches round with about an inch of ice encasing them.
These bigger limbs had ice about four inches thick around them. These icicles were a couple of inches thick, and looked rather lethal.
Jack and Josh spent most of the week clearing trees out of people's yards. Most insurance companies pay for clean up after natural disasters, so they were able to earn some income when they weren't able to go to their regular jobs. That made things a lot less stressful.

The kids and I spent the week inside, where we essentially turned the upstairs den into a studio apartment. We bought a generator, and were able to plug one of our little electric heaters and the tv into it. We cooked on our propane cooktop, trying to not lose too much food in the fridge. This meant we had dinner stuff for breakfast most days, but that was okay. We were glad to have food to eat and the means to cook it.
On Sunday afternoon the yard had thawed out and we began the clean up process. It is going to take us some time to finish getting the property cleared of fallen limbs. Jack and the kids got the front yard and driveway mostly cleared out.

Our power was finally repaired and restored on Wednesday night after Chet and I had left for Memphis. We are working our way through the new mountain of laundry now that we have the wonderful convenience of hot water pouring from our pipes and our dryer being powered again.

It was a week of toughing it out, but it wasn't horrible for us. It was mostly inconvenient and wearying. I do have to wonder if the Amish ever chuckle at us silly English and our dependency on electricity, but even if they do I can live with that. I like living life plugged in! (with running water)

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