Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice Storm

Yesterday morning at 1 AM  I awoke with a start,
to the "tap, tap, tap" of water dripping onto my bedroom carpet.
Lying there for a moment, getting my bearings,
I heard the unusual sound of rain and lots of water
trickling down the side of our log cabin.

Thinking that the dripping was coming from around the french doors..
(at times we have to add a little caulk around our windows)
I put a large towel under the dripping to catch the water.
"I'll further investigate later when I am fully awake."I thought.
Meanwhile, Hubbs slept on.

Laying there, though, that dripping became like Chinese water torture.
"Drip, drip, drip" was all I could hear...
louder and louder, robbing me of my sleep.

So, I headed upstairs to the guest room to escape the noise.
By 2 AM I was back asleep again.

At 3 AM Hubbs woke me with a start.
"We have a leak!" he exclaimed.
"I know." I sleepily responded.

By that time he was in my upstairs sewing room calling out
"Grab some towels, we have a really big leak!"
There was a huge puddle of water in my sewing room that was
running down between the floor boards and dripping into our bedroom.

Then Hubbs throws on his snowsuit and rain gear and head outside
 with the spot light.
After a bit of investigation, he found that our downspout in that corner 
of the house was frozen solidly shut.

(Most likely due to the freezing of a full rain barrel 
that connects to this does have a shut off valve, but that
was frozen too.)
This resulted in freezing rain water running down the corner of our logs
and then between the logs, into any crack or crevice it could find.


I threw on my cold weather gear and rain gear and headed outside.
I must say, it was beautiful...
deadly beautiful.

Hubbs grabbed the extension ladder 
and headed up to the upstairs corner of the house,
with me holding the ladder steady in the ice.
He took the downspout off the gutter so that the water
could just flow freely from the gutter.

Problem solved....temporarily.

Back inside... to mop up water.

Finally we returned to bed and slept for another hour,
only to find when we awoke that the power was off.
Thank goodness we had the foresight to have a generator installed
when we built this house.
The generator supplies power to the freezers, fridge, hot water,
and geothermal heat when the power goes out.
Our front yard

By mid morning, the power returned
crises were averted
and life returned to semi-normal....
Paper-white birch tree, cut in half by the weight of the ice.

with the exception of our beloved woods.
We lost many trees and limbs to the weight of the ice.
Clean up is going to be quite a job.

But putting that aside, I have to admit the views are breathtaking.
I thought I would share some with you....

A corner of our front deck.
The woods beside Becky's barn. 
Looking down from Becky's to our barn, and upper pasture run-in shed.

The chicken pen was transformed into an icicle garden.

Happily, those crazy non-conformist guineas made it
through the ice storm unscathed.

Most of the morning was punctuated by the "crack-crashing"
of ice as it fell from the trees, and tree limbs as they tore
from their trunks under the weight of the ice.

By mid afternoon, the temperatures were in the 40's and
the rest of the ice on the trees melted....
and the world was covered in slush.

We are so very lucky, though,
it seems like the rest of the country is suffering with even
harsher weather.

Take care...all of you who are in the throws of blizzards...
stay warm and dry and safe!


  1. Oh my... Good thing you guys woke up and were able to fix it before it got worse. I remember the ice storm that hit OK in 08 (I believe), the damage it caused was just incredible. Hopefully yours won't be as bad...

  2. Ice can be so devastating...and I hate when good trees are lost to it.. the birches are particularly vulnerable. Love the icicles shot with mini butts in the background.

  3. And those Guineas STILL refused to bed up with the Hens! That's a layer of stubbornness I don't even care to consider! LOL

    Preparation pays off! Good on ya'!!

  4. What a way to wake up! Good to know you were able to find the problem so quickly and the farm came through okay. You have some amazing photos, the one with the ice in the holes of the chicken wire...amazing. Weather Art~...

  5. Oh no, what a way to wake up. We had a similar night a week or two ago.. with out sharing to much info.. it was the water leaving the house that froze up... the aroma woke me..another form of torture!

    Your photos are breath taking love the ones of the fence and the chicken coop. What form of housing do you have for your Guineas. Ours are currently in with our barred rocks and we are going to have to separate.

    Stay safe and warm, not sure for your neck of the woods, but we have another one coming Saturday!

  6. Sorry to hear about the leak, you are right though, so many have it worse then we do in PA. Enjoy your day!

  7. beautiful pics despite the problems.."All's well that ends well"

  8. Laurie,
    We had a shed and a closed in yard (now occupied by the turkeys) that was the guinea home...that is before they decided they no longer wanted to return there at night. Now they roost high in the branches of a 200 year old white pine next to our barn. The rest of the time, they are out and about doing what guineas do!

  9. That sure is a doozie! Sorry about your trees, we have had those here and they can be devestating! Glad it has warmed up for you. It is very cold here but no real weather...right now.

  10. Yikes! Weather sure can be scary sometimes. I'm glad all of the critters made it through the storm.

    The photos are absolutely gorgeous. I don't mean to impose, but I'd sure like to know more about the log home you built. If I'm ever in a position to build from scratch a log home would be a dream come true for me. A log home with modern conveniences and perhaps alternative energy sources. A post for a rainy day perhaps?

    Stay warm! :D

  11. Love those guineas!! Can't believe they stayed out through the whole snow and ice storm!!
    Great pictures! Sorry about your leak!! Stay warm!

  12. I am sorry to hear about the damage your home and property sustained, but am very happy to hear that your family and all the animals are safe. Ice - definitely a dangerous beauty. The photos are fantastic and the landscape and ice look beautiful. So glad the guineas made it through the storm!

    ~ Tracy

  13. Such a shame about the water getting into the house. Years ago up in BC we would get so much snow that the water would back up under the shingles and we'd get water dripping through the ceiling. Shoveling our roof became a yearly thing sometimes several times a season. Ice storms are much worse in my eyes...bad enough when the water get's into your home but when the beautiful tree's start loosing large limbs it becomes almost too much to bare. I hope the water didn't do too much damage to your beautiful home. Keep warm and be safe.
    Maura :)

  14. Beautiful scenes but you're right - ice storms can be deadly. A blessing for you to have a generator. Hopefully, there wasn't too much damage.

  15. Thank goodness the leak wasn’t as bad as you had thought, and it was easily remedied without needing any repairs or part replacements. You’re right, it COULD have been worse, so I think you’re very lucky that it wasn’t! It was a really cold winter too, and I hope the weather didn’t damage any of your pipes.

  16. Taking the downspout off the gutter was definitely the right thing to do. I hope the leak didn’t leave any extensive damages to the inside of your house. Have you thought of any other precaution or remedy to frozen gutters? The winter can be unforgiving after all, and I’m sure this wasn’t the last time it happened.


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