A Winters’ Morning Musing January 29, 2005

Winters in the South are generally mild with brief spats of bitter cold, light dustings of snow, and the occasional ice storm. Perhaps a friendly reminder from Mother Nature to not get too comfortable. This winter has been particularly mild though. Why, just a few short weeks ago we were enjoying temperatures in the upper 60’s to low 70’s! While this is not terribly common in this part of the southeastern United States, it is not unheard of and was most welcome to this cold weather wuss.

This morning I woke to one of those aforementioned ice storms. I’ve been through ice storms that have left tree limbs wrested from their lofty homes and power lines decorating streets and yards (thus rendering a great many homes "powerless"), both succumbing to the weight of the ice. But this one, thus far, doesn’t seem intent upon testing the puny humans living in its wake, dependent upon that oh so wonderful discovery…electricity. My central heating periodically comes alive with that comforting hiss that tells me all is well in my little world.

Thus comforted, I decided to brave the chilly temperatures and took camera in hand to capture the beauty of it all. The resultant icy blanket is quite lovely, transforming the neighborhood into an Ansel Adams-ish creation. Although the landscape has taken on a “winter wonderland” look, before I go further I must re-establish my cold weather wuss status lest anyone think I’m actually waxing poetic about this whole event. The novelty of it all lasts oh, about 10 minutes.

So I continue…Every blade of grass (if you still have any), every leaf on the bushes (again, if you have any) is individually wrapped in its own little frozen cocoon. When the wind picks up a bit, the ice encrusted tree limbs creak and groan seemingly in protest, but to my now cold reddened ears sounds a bit like a natural symphony that, but for the daylight, might be disturbingly eerie.

As I am veeeryyyy carefully walking about the frozen ground dressed in my pajamas/warm-ups and flipflops (I don’t plan on being out here that long, OK?), taking pictures of whatever strikes me as photo-worthy, I hear children laughing and playing. I’m sure that my neighbors not only intensely dislike me due to my lack of enthusiasm for yard work and obvious inability, nay desire to make my yard look like a baseball diamond, but now they also think I’m nuts. Anyway, back to the kids. I guess we get so little white precipitation here that the children will come out to play in it even if it is ice and not snow.

As I am shooting, photographically speaking, a cooperative little bird, with the wrong lens to my misfortune, I briefly stop to think that the kids probably won’t stay out too terribly long though as I’m sure they’ll quickly discover that ice balls, as opposed to snowballs, do take a bit more effort to make and can do some serious damage. It suddenly dawns on me that as I’m thinking that these kids are nuts for being out here playing in the cold, wind, and ice, that, hey….I’m out here playing in it, too! Maybe they're not so crazy afterall! ;-)

Winter Weather Photo Gallery