Every so often, Portland gets hit with a little snow, and sometimes even an ice storm. Over the past two days, we got both – a double whammy. Once again, I am thankful for the roof over my head, and the food in my pantry. ‘Cause I’d be damned if I had to go anywhere – there is a sheet of ice a 1/4″ thick coating everything outside. Although, I did pass my drivers license test in a snowstorm, this is different. When we first moved here, I thought the little white fluff that landed was nothing to worry about, but eventually I figured it out. It’s not the snow itself that is dangerous – it’s the other drivers. The majority of Portlanders, compounded by new transplants from snow-free zones, don’t know how to drive in snow, and can do more harm than even a kid with a new license. In addition, this wasn’t just snow – as mentioned, our world was soon covered in ice. So, I stayed home. I had hoped the sun would break through at some point (think photo-op), but that didn’t happen. Even so, I couldn’t help it – I had to carefully venture outside, camera safely hanging around my neck and grabbing hold of anything protruding to steady my slippery steps.
This shot is from yesterday, when it had started snowing. I spent an hour or two preceding the snowfall running around, gathering up the poor un-planteds, and shoved them to the side, so they would have some cover from the surrounding, larger shrubs. Sometimes, I turned larger pots and planters over them for protection. Time will tell if it made a difference.
You can’t hear it, but here, the plinking sound of small nails being thrown at your window, sets the tone. The ice rain is in full force. You can see the neighbor’s snow-covered lawn turn shiny, as it freezes over.
By morning, my normally soldierly Yew looked like an overgrown Agave vilmoriniana. Wonder if it will ever revert to its upright form without heavy pruning. Part of the Melianthus has collapsed over the driveway.
The black bamboo in the backyard has draped itself over the ground.
From inside the house, we heard a loud CRASH!!!! When we looked out, we discovered a branch from my beloved Magnolia tree that had succumbed to the weight of the ice. Luckily no one was hurt, and the house wasn’t damaged. For those of you in Portland – if you’d like some pretty leaves to decorate with – come get’em!
I still haven’t been able to find the place from where it broke off…
Here is another view of that normally upright Yew. I have a feeling I will have to cut it back some, for it to recover. Not too worried about it – I know it is one of the few conifers that takes well to pruning. When we moved in, it was about 2′ tall, and shaped into a little flat-topped button. It recovered beautifully from that state. I have to say, the ice really amplifies the red of the Elegantissima dogwood.
Here’s a close-up.
The downed Magnolia branch gave me an opportunity to see the ice-covered flower buds. Wonder if they would bloom if brought inside?
Here is a shot of the frozen Magnolia cone.
In the back, a bud of ‘Etoile de Hollande’ is encased in glass. It’s the last one of the season, and it’s going out in style.
I don’t imagine it will make it to the rose hip stage.
Mahonia ‘Charity’ blooms look radiant in the cold, blue light.
The cupping leaf structure of a Eucalyptus caught more than their fair share of snow and ice.
The Yucca leaves look like strings of glass pearls.
Myrtle berries drooping under the weight.
Looking very much like the nearby Eucalyptus, this is Parahebe perfoliata hugging the ground.
Here is a close-up of its burgundy new leaves.
Corokia cotoneaster’s twiggy appearance and tiny mouse ear leaves always looks great covered in ice.
The poor, poor Japanese umbrella pine. It got hit by the Magnolia branch and is also severely weighted down by ice.
The ice is pretty thick…
This is guaranteed not the happiest Agave in the world.
The Yucca held up pretty well. Only one of its blades was bent over.
I liked the colors of the Dichondra ‘Silver falls’ and the fading ‘Allgold’ Hakonechloa. Note the nest high up in the tree on the other side of the gate. I’ve been told it’s a squirrel nest. Wonder how they’re faring up there…
The Viburnum branches are tinkling as they clash against each other in the wind.
The birds did a good job – there are only a few berries left.
Assuming the thickness of starfish, the few remaining maple leaves make good ornaments. For now.
Ever photogenic, the Fatsia flowers look so cool in their crusty coating.
In closing, this was taken just minutes ago. It was probably my last chance to photograph the ice with the help of my neighbor’s garage light. Our icy adventure has started to thaw.