We have had two ice storms within the past week. The ambient air temperature is cold enough that when the predicted snow did not fall, but in its place rain fell, it instantly froze on tree branches. (Of course, we just filled our bird feeder before the ice storm hit!)
Last night the second such storm hit, and this time the trees gave way to the ponderous weight. In our yard, we lost about four branches, all from evergreen trees. Thus far, we have not had any entire tree go down.
And, thankfully, we have also not lost power. While central Pennsylvania has been hit, our circumstance is far less difficult than Oklahoma and those central parts of the U.S. that were hard hit last week by ice storms.
I did think of lines from Robert Frost's poem "Birches" as you might guess from the blog title of "Crystal Shells." What an apt description for the way ice encases tree branches.
As I write this blog tonight, our house is being peppered with these "shells." They clatter against the house, raising such a noise the two cats have fled in fright to parts unknown. No doubt, they have crawled under beds or into safe hiding places to ride out the aftermath of the storm.
From Robert Frost's poem "Birches"
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.