The regular Saturday cleaning could wait. There was nothing normal about the day. The gallery was open outside and demanded attention. Sunlight poured out of crisp blue, and the trees were wrapped in diamonds.
The temperature stayed below freezing, so nature’s canvas did not melt. A slight breeze pushed heavy tree branches into gentle swirls. The highest and most brittle limbs became baby rattles, their blanket of ice creating a rustle that faded like a wave into the distance. It was a visual and auditory picture. Ice chips broke off and scattered across the roof and on the driveway, providing a crunchy pathway for my boots.
Pam took a mid-morning drive with her camera. She picked up Marge and headed into the hills around town. Their view changed, depending upon how high the road climbed. Sometimes the layers of paint were just the opaque ice covering each brown limb. In other places, snow added a blanket of dust to the trees.
Everywhere, the sun made the picture glisten. The bright rays reflected and bounced against the icy forest, scattering the light and adding another element of motion to the picture.
Normally, a mid-December day would warm gradually by noon. The sun will get high enough in the sky and thin layers of ice will begin to drip. But today was different. The storm had started on Thursday, and the temperature went down with the sun that evening. The rain turned to sleet, freezing rain, and snow , spreading across a wide swath of our corner of upstate New York. It stopped by about noon on Friday, but by then, over 200,000 homes had no power in our area.
The full moon provided the only light that night, and it showed us what the storm had left behind: an incredible layer of ice on every surface. At dawn, the light show really started.