Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Terrible Beauty ....

It has been an interesting week.   In my December
21st post I had a photo of some of the cherries on
our cherry tree after the Friday night ice storm.  Well,
on the night of the 21st we had another ice storm and
that one was much worse.    Compare the previous
picture of the cherries to the one above and you'll
see what I mean.

We knew that the storm was coming of course so
we were expecting some degree of damage and
loss of services.   Most churches, including ours,
sent out word that services the next morning
would be cancelled in expectation of loss of
electrical power and treacherous road conditions.
That was a shame because the Sunday before
Christmas is always a wonderful service ....
lots of beautiful singing and candles and
decorations and joy!!

All night on Saturday night DH and I lay in bed and
braced ourselves whenever we heard a sharp, loud
"CRACK" followed by a whoosh and a "CRASH".
The sound of tree branches snapping off and dropping
to the ground.   We have a big old maple tree in our
yard and that night a great many of it's branches
came down, landing not only in our yard but
also in the yards of our neighbours.   One large
branch landed squarely on the roof of a 
neighbour's shed putting a V shaped dent
in it.

Occasionally we'd be startled by a vividly bright
white flash of light followed immediately by a
blue flash.   Another transformer blowing on a
neighbouring street.

The storm lasted much of the night and we woke
up the next morning (after a night of very little
sleep) to a sight of both breathtaking beauty
and heartbreaking destruction.

Ice many inches thick covered everything.   Slender
wires, tree branches, blades of grass.  It was 

The power was out in our neighbourhood and 
indeed it was out all over the southern Ontario 
region where the storm had swept through.
We are lucky enough to have a gas fireplace
so we at least had heat that day.   DH kept it
on high throughout the day and it was surprising
(not to mention gratifying) how well it was
able to keep most of the house reasonably
warm.    I spent the afternoon wrapping
Christmas presents in our bedroom and 
was pretty good albeit with layers of 
warm clothing on.   

The storm passed on late in the morning and
people started to cautiously venture outside
to survey the damage.    The most obvious and
sad result of the storm was the damage to the
trees.    If you were lucky ... just a few 
branches down .... a little less luck .... major
branches down .... and the saddest of all
were the trees that were either split down
the main trunk or with the main trunk 
snapped right in half.

A corner of our street.    Branches covered in ice,
 broken branches and wires a lot lower then
they should be.

In our backyard.    Our birch tree clump is five
trees growing in a ... well .... clump.    One 
tree had it's top snapped off.   The second
is as you see it above.   Bowed right over and
frozen to the ground.   A third trunk was bent
over and it's branches mixed in with and frozen
to our Mountain Ash tree.

Our deck.    The tangle of branches is from the
Mountain Ash tree, the Birch trees and the
trees and bushes in our neighbour's yard.

On Christmas Day and Boxing Day we had
snow.   The above picture was taken after
the snowfall on those days.   Pretty.  But
adding to the weight of the ice on the 
fragile tree branches.

A tree on our street.

The sounds of chainsaws roared through
the neighbourhood that Sunday as people
worked to remove dangling branches
and trim the jagged tears on the surviving
wood.   All the while keeping away from
anything that was touching or tangled in
with the telephone, cable or (worse) 
hydro wires.

Power was out all over and it would be
a long, painful process to restore it all.
Our power came back on Monday 
morning at 6:00 am.   Many of our
friends didn't get their power back until
late Christmas Eve evening.    Some
people are just getting their power
back this weekend.  We drove to work
on Monday morning through darkened
neighbourhoods and towns.    Some
rural side roads were blocked by police
cars as they were littered with fallen 
tree branches and/or hydro wires.

Many people lost fridges and freezers
full of food and had to throw out the
fixings for their Christmas dinners
which spoiled after several days without

Christmas Eve our friends the O'Briens,
their son Ian (our godson) and their two
budgies came to stay.   Their power
actually came back on not long after
they arrived at our place but they stayed
overnight and had Christmas dinner
with us because their house was so cold
after three days without heat and needed
time to warm up again.   

It bears repeating that DH and I were so 
lucky to have our power restored so 
quickly. We take such things as electricity 
and heat for granted all of the time that we
have it and it takes events like this ice
storm to remind us to appreciate what
we've got.

My main Christmas gift from DH this year
was a Cuttlebug for scrapbooking and 
crafting.   I'm so delighted to have this
little machine which both cuts shapes in
paper from dies and also embosses patterns
right into the paper.  I'm going to have a
lot of fun with this little cutie!!!
(Judy rubs hands together and 
hugs machine .... and DH) 

For myself I got me a copy of this lovely
Zentangle book which I recommend 
highly.   It's full of designs created by
Zentangle artists from around the world
and there is so much to look at and be 
inspired by.   I've been going through
this book from cover to cover and then
back through again.

I thanked me very much for this 
wonderful gift.

Yesterday I made this.   There are still
a few bits to tangle in but most of it
is done.   Fun!!

The cats are happy to have the heat back on
and life returning to some degree of normality.
DH and I are off until after New Years and
enjoying our holiday.   Hope that yours was
a wonderful one too.

Best wishes for the New Year to you.



Andrea said...

SO glad that you and DH are safe and sound.

There has been a few areas of flooding again here in the UK over the Christmas period. Some people are only now getting power supplies back. It's just terrible.

Have a very Happy New Year!

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher said...

That IS a terrible beauty...I know ice is horrid and it kills, but it is certainly, wondrously gorgeous, isn't it?
You had a very good Christmas! And your kitties are precious!

stitcherw said...

We had the horrible ice storm here as well. Lost power the Sat. night before Christmas, I got mine back the following Tues. morning (no way to heat the house so was getting really cold in there). My parents didn't get their power back till the Thurs. after Christmas. The last of the people in our area didn't get power till yesterday (although some with individual house connection damage are still out of power). That was one nasty storm. Hope you have a wonderful New Year. Sue