Ice Storm

This past Saturday I was mowing weeds in the llama's pasture.  It was 70 degrees and blustery.  I ended up covered in dust and dirt and finely ground llama poo but managed to get the worst of the weeds mowed down.  Then Sunday came and it was cold and wet and still very windy.  I opened the gate to let the llamas and alpacas into the barn where the water troughs wouldn't freeze and where the hay was dry.  The goats got a fresh bedding of hay in their shelter and the horses got new hay in their hay rack.

Yesterday was ugly.  The temperature dropped closer and closer to freezing and it started to rain.  When I went out to feed yesterday evening I was pelted with sleet.  Yes, it was an ugly day.  By the time I was leaving the studio and heading back to the house I nearly slipped off the front porch - ice was forming on the hand rails and the steps.

The rain mixed with sleet went on all night so that we woke up to a beautiful ice-scape.  Ice covered all the trees, all the shrubs, all the fences and all the grass.\

The beautiful ice clung to all the leaves and all the twigs on all the branches of all the trees.  It is beautiful but it's also very heavy.   It weighs all the limbs down so the all seem to be trying to touch the ground.

Tree limbs, of course, are not meant to touch the ground and so with the weight of the ice they begin to break.

The sound throughout today has been loud and disturbing.  There is a loud crack that indicates the limb has broken, then a second cracking thud when it hits the ground.  As the day warmed up above freezing much of the ice let go of whatever it was attached to and crashed to the ground also.  Each individual shred of ice makes only a small sound but we had lots of ice hitting the ground.

I prefer to think of the ice storm like this...

rather than like this...

but the limbs will have to be carted off and cut up regardless of how pretty the ice looks on the trees.