Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Victims of the Ice Storm

During the weekend’s ice storm, as many as 80,000 people were out of power in this region for at least a day. That’s down to about 2,000 now and those poor folks are supposed to have it back today. Some roads are still not cleared. Homeowners are assessing the damage and checking their insurance policies for what is and is not covered.

Humans are not the only victims of this storm. Tree damage is extensive. Last December I took a pretty photo of several white pine trees with a delicate and pretty glazing of ice and snow. All of those trees are now broken. One might survive but I’m even doubtful of that one. Ice still grips the mountain, if slightly less so than the day before. Temperatures only rose above freezing for an hour or two yesterday. It was enough to start the process of thawing but that still has a ways to go.

In front of my cabin, I have three conifers that are in danger. Yesterday, I thought for sure I would lose two but thought one might make it. Today, one of those in danger has improved, though it’s not safe yet.

I’ve also seen two flocks of Canada geese, both at migration altitude, heading south. These sluggards were likely "gambling" that they were already as far south as they needed to be for the winter, and then the ice storm came. Now, they are getting out of Dodge, better late than never.

The little red-breasted nuthatch that visited my feeders 50 times a day since the moment it arrived is also among the missing. I still have a small glimmer of hope that it has survived, but only a small one. During the week, I don’t have much daylight time to see what’s going on at the feeders so perhaps it is there and I am only not seeing it. This is possible but unlikely, as before the storm I could rarely look outside and not see it. Perhaps it is holed up somewhere with its stash of seeds—not even the world’s hungriest nuthatch could consume as many seeds each day as this one took from the feeders. Perhaps it has left the area, figuring that it wasn’t nearly as far south as it thought it was. This is also, I think, unlikely. In any event, I haven’t seen it since Sunday afternoon. Godpseed, girlfriend, wherever you are.


Lynne said...

I was just talking to my daughter yesterday about how in life there are so many things we have no control over, and Mother Nature is the queen. She sure can be swift and harsh. I hope your damage is minimal and your nuthatch is busy munching her stash somewhere.

Cathy said...

I hope you don't lose anymore trees. As for your missing bird, it's probably hole up somewhere or maybe it found another feeder to raid.

PA-Birder said...

The Geese you saw that migration isn't just a spring and fall event but that birds are always on the move. Here's hoping that your Nuthatch is well and that she shows up again.