Ice Storm Toronto 2013
Ice Storm Toronto 2013
When people talk about Ice Storm Toronto 2013, I’m sure there will be much chatter about the devastation and suffering in the city, but many of those same people will readily acknowledge the transient beauty of an ice-encrusted world. In the hours subsequent to the brunt of the storm, Bob and I set out on foot to uncover some of that hidden splendour.
The quiet beauty of an abandoned street spoke to me of simpler times.
Ice-encrusted pine boughs illustrate the resilience of our native trees.
There was sufficient damage to the city’s trees on our street alone that we are sure it will take months of cleanup to reestablish some semblance of normalcy. We were grateful, in our area, that the wind did not get up as expected, lessening the destruction to the canopy.
In our neighbourhood, the white birch trees seemed to suffer the most damage. On our own property, the tops were snapped off of all the birch trees, plus several broken branches still hang tenuously by frail white threads. With the tips of thin branches now brushing the ground, many will likely be unable to spring back up but may remain permanently deformed.
The weight of the inch-thick layer of ice had trees bending over backwards, as seen here where people had to duck low beneath a spontaneous living arch in order to emerge from the front door of their home.
Manufacturers work hard to replicate the natural look of this glistening pine bough when creating artificial greenery.
It was incredible just how heavy one small branch of this tree was. With the whole thing encased in frozen water, the parts of the tree were immovable…frozen together with weighty masses of ice…
yet with each needle encapsulated in its own protective sheath.
The poor birds were desperate for something to eat these past couple of days…and I see no sign in sight of that crisis ending. All available fruit is preserved in a hard shell of ice that defies access by pecking. On our own deck, a small flock of starlings fought over a few fallen apples because those still on the tree were as candy apples encased in a crunchy, hard, candy coating. Once fallen, the crust shattered and the juicy flesh was revealed.
The contrast of vibrant red berries against the shimmering crystals reminds me of festive greeting cards exchanged between friends to pass along holiday wishes.
Beautiful in its simplicity…
Over six inches of ice accumulated on the deck railing, and Bob reinforced at least one branch of a birch tree with our extension ladder to help prevent further breakage during Ice Storm Toronto 2013.
With handy dandy ice grippers strapped to our snow boots, Bob and I have navigated the neighbourhood streets and even ventured over to the local park. With sun barely in evidence these past couple of days, the scene is reduced to a black and white rendering of the wintry landscape.
The extremely long, mild autumn sees many trees still retaining their coloured leaves, which may now be torn from the branches by the sheer weight of their icy sheaths.
The small forest at our local park has myriad trails throughout, but with all the debris from fallen tree limbs and trunks, it was difficult to distinguish where the trails had been. Frozen ruts made walking difficult even with the ice grippers in place.
Bob and I felt at risk walking beneath the forest of trees so hastened to remove ourselves from the danger of more falling tree limbs to the safety of the walkway adjacent to the pond. With every passing breeze, the air was filled with clacking and creaking, snapping and popping.
The now abandoned flower gardens were filled with impromptu ice sculptures, created by the slow accumulation of frozen water on long-dried seed heads…
berries, pods and nuts.
A closeup study of this prickly nut indicates that the freezing rain was driven from the east giving rise to only partial coverage of the bristles.
I had to chuckle when I spotted this neatly discarded Tim Hortons’ coffee cup. Talk about an Iced Capp!
But this grey squirrel, and its black cousin on the neighbouring bin, found that the tidbits discarded by we humans were about the only available source of food in this polar landscape.
Exquisite symmetry in a gilded chain link fence…
Peace and quiet by the frosty pond…
A tangle of intertwined icicles…
A reminder of the season. Feliz Navidad…Joyeux Noel…Merry Christmas!
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