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January 15, 2007

Ice Storm

We have had quite a bit of freezing rain over the past few days, a natural phenomenon that is still quite new for me as an erstwhile Californian. Needless to say, in Los Angeles we didn't have freezing anything, except ice cream, and I had never even heard of such things as sleet, freezing rain, or ice storms until I moved to Ann Arbor. I knew to expect snow, but it didn't occur to me that there was anything in between rain and snow.

We don't get ice storms very often, but we had a pretty spectacular one my first winter in Ann Arbor. I woke up one morning and the world was encased in a thick sheet of ice. When I got down to the lobby of my apartment, David was waiting to escort me to work. It was only a ten-minute walk from where I lived at the time, but he knew I would never get there on my own. Before we set out, he sent me back upstairs to change my clothes, telling me to put on my snow boots and tuck my pants into them. Tuck my pants into my boots? The indignity! But I was glad for this instruction when I stepped on what looked like solid ice and landed ankle-deep in dirty slush. David was puzzled about why I had stepped there -- to him, it was obviously not solid. "Give me a break," I replied, "I was raised in captivity!"

This morning's walk to work wasn't nearly so treacherous because it has been warm enough that the sidewalk wasn't frozen. Nonetheless, the trees are all coated with ice, producing the distinct impression that I was walking through an enchanted forest. The whole world seems different after an ice storm because the ice weighs down the trees, so branches that are usually well above my head are instead right in my path. Add to that the fact that I walk to work in the dark and, with moonlight glinting off the ice, it truly felt magical.

Posted by eklanche at January 15, 2007 07:39 AM


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