I went to bed last night after driving home in a slick mess but woke up this morning to a beautiful ice forest. I knew what I had to do. I set the kettle on the stove for tea, told Pat to find some batteries for the camera, and fished around in the refrigerator for a soft apple. While the water was boiling for tea, I heard a hollow splitting sound and quietly thanked myself for parking the car far up the driveway. The large pitch pine that had been leaning since the blustery winds a few days ago finally fell under the weight of the ice. I watched it tumble down from the kitchen and heard the ice cover needles go crunch against the driveway.
After I made some tea I put more water on the stove for "goat soup" and popped chunks of cut up apple in the microwave with some dry oatmeal to warm up. I filled a bucket up with the steaming warm water and trudged down to the back yard with that and the warm apples and oats. Goat was very happy to have some apples and "goat soup."
In years past when we've had ice, some of the bamboo would lean down and touch the ground. I was stunned to see that almost all the bamboo was touching the ground. The electric fence was rendered pretty much useless with the bamboo leaning on it. Legend didn't seem in any hurry to leave his nice house with steamy "goat soup" and oats.
In fact, he seemed amused that one of his favorite delicacies was within easy reach. The only problem was that now it was a frozen vegetable.
I wanted to assess how bad the leaning was because sometimes the bamboo doesn't stand back up again after been weighed down. I don't think we'll lose all of our bamboo but I'm guessing a good portion of it will suffer. Bamboo is one of the "three friends of winter" so it will take a beating but will recover. The only reason I worry is that for the bamboo to sprout this spring it will rely on the sugars stored in the older canes from the previous year. Damaged and removed canes from last year = not as much bamboo in the spring. We'll see.
On a more pensive note, seeing my bamboo green and limber in the ice is an omen. It reminds me that even if conditions around me may not be sympathetic to my ideal, if I remain flexible enough to continue traversing to my goal, sooner or later I will get there and even live to see another day. If not, I might suffer the fate of the broken pitch pine that now lays in my driveway.
Legend says, "Yeah, okay crack head lady. I'm going to munch the leaves now." He nibbled some of the icy bamboo before heading back for more "goat soup" instead.
One of the first things I noticed when I stepped outside was the lack of traffic noise. Even though we are out in the country, there is usually some kind of noise pollution. If you can't hear the traffic from 64, you hear the neighbor's tractor. If you don't hear the neighbor's tractor, it's the other neighbor's lawn mower. If it's not the other neighbor's lawn mower, it's the other neighbor's four wheeler. Don't get me wrong. I don't blow a head gasket over these things but I do get excited when all you can hear outside is the "click, click" of ice falling and the chirp and flitter of birds.
I noticed a dead log under the overhang of bamboo and how it made an inviting little grotto. I decided to crawl in and take my camera with me.
It was nice and quiet and every once and again some ice would cascade down among the leaves as a bird would hop to and from the canes. It looked like a large green glass sculpture all around.
After a while, Legend came down to stare at me and assess whether or not I had lost my marbles. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with sitting in the quiet and enjoying it for as long as it will last.
I took tons of other pictures but that will have to wait for another post. Going to go enjoy the day now!