This week has been too cold and slippery for me to take my camera outside to shoot the ice-coated everything, beautiful though it is.
I stayed home from work on Thursday. We were closed because of the ice: freezing rain on top of sleet on top of several inches of snow. The weather forecast Wednesday night said travel would range from "extremely hazardous to impossible." I had my usual reaction to the possibility of downed power lines. When I got home from work I put a pot of soup on to cook, vacuumed the entire house, made two dozen whole wheat rolls, and ran four loads of laundry. A sign that I was really taking it seriously: I remembered to trim and fill the two kerosene lamps.
I didn't need them. I spent Thursday sitting beside the fire, reading blogs and news, and looking out the window at the freezing rain coating everything in sight, being grateful that I am well prepared to do without electricity for days at a time, and even more grateful that this time I didn't have to.
Towards dusk, I went out to bring in more wood, and decided I should remove the tarp I had put over the Jeep's windshield, since the precipitation (mixed) seemed to be over. That's when I learned that enough freezing rain can freeze the tarp right onto the car. I managed to pry and pull it loose, but at the cost of a tear. Then I tried to scrape the ice off the windshield, and discovered it was too thick for that. Sigh. Without the tarp it would have been thicker.
Friday morning, wondering if I would be able to get out the driveway, I sat in the car for ten minutes with the defrost running full blast before the ice melted enough to come off. Then I started slowly forwards, and was pleased to not be slithering. I usually go up and down the drive between fifteen and twenty miles an hour. This time I was doing about five. When I got to the top of the hill down to the road, I stopped completely, and then started down very slowly with the brake on. I had zero traction. I sledded down to the road; if the road surface hadn't been clear of ice, I'd have kept going right through my neighbor's fence. From there on it was easy driving; the highway department had done a splendid job.
I spent the day at work wondering whether I would get back up the beginning of the driveway. I usually stop at the foot of the drive and go across the road to the mailbox, but this time I wanted momentum. I made it up the steep part, and I was so thrilled I forgot to stop on the level bit and walk back to get the mail. I had to walk all the way from the house, so I got some exercise.
Saturday getting to work and back was the same as Friday. Sunday there was supposed to be a thaw, but out here it didn't get within one degree of freezing. It was warmer in the urban areas, I heard. There was a lot of sun, though, so I tried some shots through the windows.
This was dawn:
It will be a long time before the hammock hook sees any use:
Now my driveway has begun to melt and we're supposed to get more snow. Winter is here.