Yesterday was one of those days that cannot be described or even photographed, only remembered. We had a minor ice storm during the day, which is common for us this time of year. The storm was over and sun was shining through oily black March clouds when I stepped outside to feed the llamas. But it was raining. Hard. Big drops making noisy splashes on the frozen ground. You could see the downpour through the sunshine, and the drops were huge! In fact, they were not rain drops at all. The sun was making the ice melt from the trees, and the meltwater and chuncks of ice were falling from the trees. To think that there was that much ice on the trees that it could continue to “rain” with that much intensity was a wonder.
I ventured out through the maple grove near our house and into the clearing by the pond. Just then, the sun shone through the forrest behind the pond at a late afternoon angle. The ice crusting the trees was so illuminated by the sun that I could barely look at it. The depth of the forrest was shown by receding layers of refracting light as though passing through every diamond ever cut and faceted by man. It was breathtaking.
As the sun continue to get lower in the sky, the effect continued to morph, and all afternoon was a wonder with displays of sparkling beauty and ever-present shower of meltwater and ice from the trees. An occasionaly loud crack could be heard when a weary limb of a old pine finally gave in to the weight of the ice, not able to wait until the melting caught up and relieved its heavy load.
The next day, we noticed once again how “the hill” seemed to be singled out for this ice event. North of home, where we work, and south of home, where we went out to dinner, the ice was completely gone and forgotten. On our hill, however, the ground and roads were still strewn with ice chunks and the trees still carried a shimmering rind of ice, even late the next afternoon. Whether this was due to the elevation difference or the depth of the surrounding woodlands, we don’t know. But we do seem to have a micro climate on the hill that occasionally gives us spectacular weather events not shared even by our nearby friends and neighbors.