It was supposed to rain…

Posted: January 5th, 2009 under Weather.
Tags: , ,

…NOT give us an ice storm.  An ice storm after drought is particularly tough on trees weakened by drought.

What we’re having is a mix of rain and freezing rain, with temps at ground level just below freezing.  Already the junipers are drooping, limbs weighed down by the ice.    Here’s  a picture of some backyard trees.

Ice storm

Ice storm

Beauty is as beauty does, and this beauty, around here, creates hardship for drought-stricken plants and wildlife both.   And some for us.  Someone will have to hike out later today and check the pumps at the more distant water guzzlers and put out feed in those locations for the winter-resident birds.  Drought years mean less natural feed.

I’m watching birds at the backyard feed: blue jays,  winter-resident white-crowned sparrows, house sparrows,  our winter-resident American goldfinches, Inca and white-winged doves, cardinals.  When the icy rain falls most heavily, they retreat to the bushes (esp. the small ones) and only the larger (jays, mostly) come to the corn and sunflower seeds.   In lulls, out come the little birds–easy to tell how hard the stuff is falling, just watch the birds.  Though the metal roof and the surface of the backyard pond are just as informative.

Icy clothespin

Icy clothespin

On days like this (unusual for us)  I’m glad to have a clothes dryer as well as a clothesline.


  • Comment by AnnMCN — January 5, 2009 @ 7:27 pm


    You can almost see the rain drops solidify when they land and slowly wrap around. Years ago during an ice storm here in Georgia, I saw several trees in a row fall down — like the cartoon when Bugs Bunny pulls the row of carrots out from below.

    Heavy rains are rough on drought abused trees too. When the ground gets soft, the tree falls over.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 5, 2009 @ 10:03 pm


    The funniest thing was this afternoon, when it hadn’t misted or dripped for awhile, and the ground warmth was beginning to thaw even the fence–the horse lot fences are made of cattle panels welded to pipe, and the top four lines of wire in the cattle panels had ice and little icicles. Well…they began to melt. And the entire horizontal line was still there, only it has slid down–as a unit–from the wire it formed on.

  • Comment by TexasEllen — January 9, 2009 @ 8:09 am


    13 miles away and we got no ice…33 degree drizzle. Cattle are inhaling hay.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 9, 2009 @ 9:48 am


    The horses are, too. And last year’s hay was, as you know, cruddy and expensive.

    Did y’all ever get the Wild Bunch caught up and shipped out? Those 6-8 renegades that wouldn’t come in the day we worked some months ago?

    We did finally get a measurable amount over here, along with the ice, but (as I watch images of the floods near Seattle) not nearly enough. Less than an inch. I have friends up there who can’t get to the doctor’s, while we’re so dry.

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