On the 23rd, I decided to go for a little walk around the neighbourhood where Janean's family lives. I knew it would be icy but I figured I was pretty good on my feet and should be able to get around just fine. I walked along the road and made it to little path that runs between two roads and promptly ended up horizontal. I got up rather sheepishly and kept moving and a few steps later I was flat on my back again. I had my camera with me and luckily protected it both times and wasn't hurt in the process. At that point, I realized I was still trying to maintain a pace that is more in line with Victorian roads. I had to tell myself to calm down and basically shuffle rather than take full steps. This worked fine until I encountered my first slope. I was still in my careful-stepping mode but I was getting a little too confident walking in a recent track of a snowmobile that broke the icy crust. A small section must have been a little tougher and did not get broken. I hit that stretch and had a rather dramatic tumble and put one hand down to slow my slide and nearly sliced it on the ice. I triple-checked my hand to make sure it wasn't split open and spurting blood. I think I'll just stay in the next time there is an ice storm!
Regardless of all those tumbles, I am a sucker for punishment and continued on my walk. I also got my camera going to document some of the plants, all of which were coated in ice. I unfortunately don't have any photos to show you some of the aftermath of the ice storm. Driving into Whitby on the morning of the 22nd, Janean and I a tree that fell onto a powerline, a branch that narrowly missed a parked car, and many of the intersections reverted back to four-way stops because the traffic lights were out. Despite the rather destructive nature of an ice storm, it certainly adds a certain beauty to the landscape.
|Goldenrod coated in ice|
|Knapweed heads and stems encased in ice|
|I can see how an ice storm would be hard on birds that eat berries, but luckily some of these are not iced over!|
|A Staghorn Sumac inflorescence fringed with ice|
|The intricate needle pattern of a cedar traced in ice|
|Narrowleaf Cattail flowerhead partially covered in ice|
|My favourite sight was this backlit patch of cattails - you really can't do it justice with a photo!|
I did see some birds along the way. First, I heard some chickadees and their calls led me to discover a Cooper's Hawk up in a fir tree. Or perhaps I spotted it while I was on my back... details are sketchy.
|This Cooper's Hawk is likely a male based on its rather small size, and it even had me thinking Sharp-shinned at first.|
|Not the greatest photo, but the Cooper's took off and I reeled around just in time to snap this off.|
I walked around in a little park that I checked out last year and I managed to find a little flock that included some Northern Cardinals, American Tree Sparrows, and Black-capped Chickadees. They were a little too active, but I managed to snap off a photo of each species.
|American Tree Sparrow on some icy branches|
|Not a good photo, but just wanted to show a Black-capped Chickadee in the icy mayhem|
|Northern Cardinals never cease to brighten a dull winter day... not that it was dull on this particular day!|
I finished off my day by walking over to a feeder that I recalled from last year. It had a fair bit of activity, but unfortunately all the birds were too far away to photograph. As a result, you'll just have to take my word for it that I also saw Mourning Doves, a White-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Juncos, and a couple House Finches. I hope you all enjoyed the ice storm imagery - it has now melted away, but some unfortunate folks in Toronto are still waiting for power to come back on so they can stock their fridges back up and thaw out.