Friday was the start of the great ice storm that swept across the mid-south, from Oklahoma to the Atlantic. JoAnna had to make a trip down to the IRS office in Huntsville to get some paperwork, so she went early. She made it home by 1pm, though it took her twice as long as usual. The snow was sticking to the road surface, and a layer of ice had already coated most everything by that time. When she got to our driveway, she played it safe and parked at the bottom of the drive rather than tryng to climb the incline on the slippery slope. It was a wise decision, since had she parked up on top next to my car, we would have been stranded at home if we needed to go into town for any reason. The storm coated the driveway with enough snow and ice that it would have been really dangerous to drive down, probably guaranteed to slide off and down the hill. Gladly, we were stocked up on milk and bread, so we stayed put.
I had to protect the heat pump from the water that runs off of the roof, because it was freezing onto the moving parts, causing it to make a bad noise. I turned off the unit, poured some warm water over the fan blades to melt the ice that had collected there, and then I propped the dog crate on top of the unit. After attaching a piece of plywood to the top of the crate at a slight angle, the temporary water diverter was complete.
After a night of listening to the sounds of cracking and shattering tree branches, this is what we saw in the morning:
This is a picture of the chickens' winter house, where they usually spend their nights. Since the ground was coated with ice and snow, all but one of them went back into the house during the day. This has never happened before, even on the coldest days. I usually cover the window at night with an old blanket to try to keep it warmer, but it was frozen in place when I took this photo:
Last night, the skies cleared and the full moon was shining brightly. Looking up at it through the ice-glazed trees was really amazing. I took these photos, and then accentuated the contrast of the images to try to show the detail:
This morning, the clear skies remained and the sun lit up the landscape. As the temperature climbed, the ice started falling. The sound of the ice landing on the crusty earth was like the crackle of a campfire. There was vapor rising from the wood pile as it warmed in the sun. It was a really beautiful day.