Thursday, February 15, 2007


The trees are bejeweled with ice; late yesterday afternoon when the storm cleared and the sun was first visible it reflected the blue of the winter sky and glistened like saphires. In the moonlight it was diamonds. The drive home at dusk today reflected the palest of amethyst.

A day without electric, or heat, or coffee (!) makes one appreciate just how much we rely on modern conveniences. The daylight hours were fine, fun even; an enjoyable day spent under a blanket alternating napping with reading. A walk through the neighborhood to see the beauty and destruction wrought by the ice storm was a welcome break from the quiet house.

When my husband took his dinner break (his only break during yesterday's 17 hour workday) and came home with the Valentine's roses, I was more interested in a cup of coffee and a burger from anyplace that might be open and had power to cook me something.

The night was something else. It's very hard to occupy yourself in the pitch dark with no company on Valentine's Day. So I went to bed around 10 pm which must be an all time record for me. My husband stumbled in from work some time later, having spent most of the day cutting up fallen trees and keeping the roads somewhat passable for those foolish enough to venture out. Most people don't appreciate the hours that public works guys put in; they only complain that their street wasn't cleared well enough or soon enough.

There was a small flock of robins who spent a miserable day in the holly tree in the front yard eating ice covered berries. They refused my offers of water-softened raisins, cherries, and blueberries but did appreciate a pan of water, kept from freezing, to drink. This morning they were back, with a few cedar waxwings, but still they looked miserable and ready for Spring.


vicki said...

I'm thinking of a quote from Woody Allen that ends with the punch line: "It's sex with someone I love." No, I'm not thinking that. Really, I'm not. I'm thinking of the Zen saying: "Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water."

You got precious gems for Valentine's Day!

Mary said...

That Vicki is TOO MUCH :) Laura, I thought you might have been without power. Let's hope that today starts the beginning of Spring!

Sounds like you had a good Valentine's Day...reading, napping, tending to the bewds. And your thoughtful husband came through.

You mentioned Cedar Waxwings and I need to urge you to see my February 14 post - the last picture. It's my best bird photo, I think, of a Cedar Waxwing.

Glad you're back :o)

mon@rch said...

One night without power is very hard! So glad that you make it alright and nothing wrong with heading to bed early! Happy v-day and prob was nice taking a little time off from the computer! We missed you!

NatureWoman said...

Laura - sorry to hear about your not having electricity. You're right, daytime isn't bad, but that pitch-black of nighttime isn't made any better by candlelight. I usually go to bed early on a night with no electricity, too. I'm glad you're back and safe! And I can only imagine the hours the town guys put in. Especially when I hear the plow go by in the middle of the night.

Mary said...

Forgot to say your ice photos are grand. The Robin is my favorite.

I can't tell you how many times we applauded the men who plowed our streets and helped us out. We called them our "Snow Angels" and offered hot chocolate on many occasions. They were very appreciative.

Laurie said...

Very beautiful photos Laura. I'm glad you are back up and running again. So nice of you to provide for the robins. I'm sure they appreciated it.

Susan Gets Native said...

I adore each and every public worker who clears the way for the rest of us bitching citizens.

Vicki is so bad. I like that in a person.
Sounds like you had as much fun as we did in the cold dark night.

John said...

I looks like you got it much worse than we did. Even so, a lot of the school systems are still closed tomorrow.

That's a beautiful ice photo.

Lynne said...

Pretty ice picture! Sorry you lost power. Did your house stay warm? Good of you to care for the poor robins.

Here's to the public works guys!
Thank you guys!!

z said...

new site. new name.
not silverlight- now-'z'.
Blogger got me.
I hope you guys don't freeze.
People get very cranky without their ameneties.

Jayne said...

Hang on tight... spring is coming... soon... really. :c)

Anonymous said...

The world is magical when it is covered with ice. Sorry you lost power, my part of N.J. was lucky. I'll remember to be thankful for our public works guys - even if they don't come until after 9p.m. I'm sure they would like to be home. Jackie

Body Soul Spirit said...

Glad you are OK. When you missed a day, I hoped you were all safe. The TV clips of people trying to drive in the ice were scary. Thanks for showing the beauty of the storm.

burning silo said...

Good to hear you weren't without power for too long! I hope all is well now. My hat is off to your husband and always is for the linesmen, snow crews, and others who get things back to normal during after a bad storm.
After the ice storm in Jan. '98, we were without power for about 10 days in very cold weather. It was rather fun for the first few days, but after awhile, it kind of sucked, especially as we had a large herd of milk goats and had to pump water for them from a well way out in an orchard and haul it to the barn on a toboggan a couple of times a day. The whole experience was hell for all of the farmers in our area.
When I think of people who have to make do without power for extended periods of time (places like N.O. and Baghdad), I can well imagine how they must feel when it goes on and on.

robin andrea said...

On nights without power, we light candles and lanterns. Our laptop batteries are usually at 100%, so we might pop in a dvd to watch, while the silent dark world just spins.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Glad you survived with only inconveniences! We don't have "public works" here but I'm always grateful for the road workers, power&gas workers, and other folks who work to fix what Mother Nature damaged!

Hope your robins and waxwings are feeling warmer soon!

KGMom said...

I remember reading an article years ago in the Smithsonian magazine about DARK. What the world was like before we illuminated the night the way we do. It was a great article to explain a concept--darkness has a definite physical property when we are forced to experience it.
Glad you are back in the light.

Sandy said...

Well you got a really nice ice shot out of the storm! Glad you got power back in a day.

Do robins normally winter there?

Floridacracker said...

Isn't it amazing how quiet the house is when the juice is off.

I'm with Sandy, don't your robins know about Florida. All the others seem to.

Cathy said...

Those first descriptive lines are poetry, Laura. Just lovely.

My husband was away during a similar storm years ago when a limb came crashing through the skylights over the porch. The dogs and I snuggled while the water crept across the basement floor. (sump pump failure)

The rose and Neruda quote are beautiful.

My Robins didn't go for the fruit either.

I'm glad you're cozy again and hope your husband is getting a well-deserved rest.

Larry said...

I remeber the ice storm here in the early 70's.Cars were sliding sideways. There is something magical about ice storms.Seeing the trees covered with ice is really beautiful. An ice storm forces you to slow down.-Obviously it can also be an inconvenience too.-nice photos!