Ice Storm 2008

On December 12, the northeast USA had a severe ice storm, which left 0.5" - 1" (1-2.5 cm) of ice on everything. Trees, heavy with ice, bent and broke, snapping wires and cutting electricity to over 200,000 homes and businesses. My house was one of the unfortunate ones.

However, with every challenge there are opportunities - in this case, photographic ones. So I fired up the DSLR and started snapping - pictures, not wires.

One pine tree in my backyard was so laden with ice that its tip - normally 25 feet in the air - was dangling in the pond. It looks like the pine tree was thirsty and is taking a drink. (Click on the image to see a larger image.)

Later, the surface of the pond froze, trapping the tip in the pond. Fortunately - for the tree - the surface melted two days later, allowing it to shake itself free.

A birch tree in the front yard performed a similar feat, but it looked more like it was bowing. I doubt it was trying lick the snow - it knows better.

I like the loss of background clutter that night - and flash! - brings to shots like that one.

Another birch was bent, and its upper half reached, like fingers, through the branches of a Shadblow tree, itself coated in ice.

Another night shot, a large pine seems to loom gloomily over a 6-foot blue spruce. Normally its arms jut out parallel to the ground, but the ice pinned its arms to its sides.

But by far the worst damage nearby was a 40-to-45-foot pine tree in the backyard. For years, it has been leaning out over the pond. No more - the weight of the ice snapped it in two, about eight feet up the trunk. In the first image, only the remaining trunk is obvious...

...but in the next picture, it's clear that the tree decided to "take a dip" in the pond. To give you some scale, the pond is 40 feet wide. The tree reached all the way across and stripped some branches off of a tree on the far side of the pond.

As someone mentioned to me - the ice storm was "just Mother Nature doing some pruning."

P.S. Nighttime brought another interesting view: moonlight refracting through the ice on tree branches.

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Jeff Victor writes this blog to help you understand Oracle's Solaris and virtualization technologies.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

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