“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.”
― Steve Goodier
I made this image this past weekend and tucked it away, not sure when I would post it. Then this past Tuesday evening, a fairly extensive ice storm passed through, bringing back memories of previous ice storms, a phenomenon quite common to this part of the country. The Tuesday storm was tame compared to other storms we’ve experienced, especially the one that occurred in the winter of 2015.
The 2015 storm was unique in several aspects: it lasted a long time, covering everything in about 50 millimeters of ice, breaking large limbs from trees, damaging power lines, and creating a thick, impenetrable glaze of ice that was impossible to walk on. Then, something unusual happened. Freezing rain generally melts off mere hours after it falls, that’s the nature of these storms. In this case, the temperatures plummeted, making the ice harder and locking our world in a frozen wonderland. Many people lost power for days, as power lines snapped under the weight of the ice and vast patched of trees were completely obliterated as the ice literally tore them apart. We also experienced a unique phenomenon that became known as ‘frost quakes’. As the ground, laden with water from the freezing rain, froze rapidly, it contracted, booming and banging as it continued to cool. This was especially noticeable on roof tops, covered in close to thirty centimeters of wet snow and encased in ice. It would make the whole house shake.
Such was the dynamic of the 2015 storm and the cause of the damage to this tree, which, despite the extensive damage to its trunk, still lives. I recall the first time I saw it, a few days after the storm. The sheer weight of ice in its limbs and some fairly intense winds had created enough force to twist and split the tree almost all the way from the ground to the lowest branches. Frankly, given the damage, I would have thought it was going to die.
It still will die in the next few years, as the wood, now unprotected by the bark, is open to water damage, rot, and insects. Despite this, I am still amazed at it resilience.
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 200
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Thanks for sharing!! Learned much…Nice photo
Very excellent post Ed! Interesting phenomenon with the ice quakes. I have heard of lakes cracking but this is the first time I ever heard of this!! Dwight Love the photo!!
Yes, frost quakes are something new to me. We had a repeat last night. Similar conditions, wet ground, rapid freeze.
The tree in your photo looks like a locust or gum??
It’s a maple, not certain of the species without going back to confirm.
A compelling image and post!
So sad for the tree- the forces of nature are so unpredictable.
Love this post…to bits.