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January 28th, 2009

Ice Morning

There is a sheet of ice all over everything outside here in my little Baltimore neighborhood, but not a quarter inch of it.  It’s pretty significant though.

When I got up, the first thing I did was look outside to check the ice accumulation.  I didn’t see much right off the bat…although the sidewalks looked obviously iced over.  But the powerlines and tree branches didn’t seem to have any.  Usually, when it’s a really bad freezing rain storm, you get the trees looking a bit glossy, almost like they’re encased in snow, but it’s not snow its ice.  This morning they just looked wet.

Then I put my glasses on. (sigh)  I’ve had to wear glasses for distance vision ever since last February, when I was driving to Memphis and noticed that the lettering on the big highway signs was looking a little fuzzy.  I can see okay at a distance, but to see small detail I need my glasses now.  Once I had them on this morning, the extent of the ice outside was more apparent.  I could clearly see the trees were encased in the stuff too.  But not a quarter inch of it. 

I got dressed and went to step outside.  My bird feeders had a full load of customers and there was a downy woodpecker on the suet feeder so I waited for it to get done.  The woodpeckers are very shy, even the big ones, and will scoot at a shadow.  It didn’t stay long and when it flitted off I stepped out.  The gold finches all over my thistle feeders scattered but they come right back.

Everything outside here is iced over, but only on top.  The tree branches aren’t completely encased it in…they’re dry on the bottom side.  In some places it’s thicker then others, but I’d say the thickest it is most places is 1/16 inch.  That’s still a lot when it comes to ice.  More then enough to shut everything down. When I look upstreet, Redfern Avenue looks like an ice rink, I kid you not.  But a neighbor, shoveling it off his sidewalk, said everything was wet underneath.  He wasn’t having a hard time getting it up off the sidewalk.  So the ground here in Baltimore isn’t frozen.  That’ll make it go away quicker.  Later in the day, they’re calling for rain.

The Institute is closed until 10am, and we can take vacation for the rest of the day on "liberal leave"…meaning it’s okay that you didn’t properly schedule it just go ahead and take it.  I’ll wait and see what it’s like before I decide. 

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