Spring Interim

March. Despite what the calendar says, Spring usually starts where I live earlier than the “first day of Spring.” My crocus and snowdrops have already shown their faces, and the daffodils are not far behind. Still, we are just getting over an ice storm that hit two weeks ago!

Ice storms, for any who are unfamiliar with them, are what happens when the temperature plummets while it is raining. It is absolutely gorgeous, and very dangerous. On the gorgeous side of things, everything, and I do mean everything, gets coated with a thick layer of perfectly clear ice. The pictures below may give you some idea, but they are nothing to the whole. Imagine the world is coated in glass and you will have some idea.

On the dangerous side of things, traction on packed and re-frozen snow is hard enough. On a solid sheet of ice, one needs cleats on one’s shoes, and the cars, here, simply aren’t equipped to deal with this kind of thing. We need tanks with spikes on the treads. I took a tumble and was lucky, I caught myself on my elbows. Painful, but it could have been worse.

Another problem is that ice is very heavy. Not all trees can handle it, nor all branches. Snow can weigh down a tree to breaking, but it can also fall off the tree a lot easier than a thick coat of ice. Power-lines come down. It’s all very exciting and worrying.

I might get tired of the danger if this sort of thing happens more often, but so far my primary reaction was “wow, this is gorgeous!” We may be in for another one this week (though hopefully not as long-lasting as this one, the last of the ice just melted last weekend), but still, Spring is hot on its heels and won’t be held back. There will be a few more frosts, no doubt, but there’s no stopping the momentum.

And that brings me to my scarcity. Spring planning, house-work, writing, and, unfortunately, tax season, are upon me. I have a long list of upcoming blog posts, and a desire to catch up on the blogs I read, but it must wait!

I have the follow up posts for Unlikely Treasure in the wings.

I still owe you all pictures of my newest masks.

I have long overdue Hobbit movie reviews.

And Stephen Winter has nominated me for a Dragon’s Loyalty Award for Excellence!  So, look for that forthcoming.

Until then, enjoy the pictures. Some look a little odd because I had trouble with my camera and had to do some adjustment after the fact.

Closeup of a Crape Myrtle, Image by Jubilare

Closeup of a Crape Myrtle, Image by Jubilare


My porch-dragon looks pitiful, Image by Jubilare


So cold my dog willingly wore a coat… Image by Jubilare


Magnolia leaves complete coated, Image by Jubilare


Broomsedge, too, Image by Jubilare


Cloud 9 Panicum turned into an icefountain, Image by Jubilare

icegrass adjusted 4

Cherokee Sedge is still green… Image by Jubilare

icegrass adjusted 2

More icy grass, Image by Jubilare


My Gray Owl Juniper looked like a frosted Christmas tree and pieces broke off when they were touched, Image by Jubilare


My poor Wax Myrtle was bowed to the ground, Image by Jubilare


Porch Dragon sporting an ice-beard, Image by Jubilare


Junipers weighed down, Image by Jubilare

coneflower1 adjusted

Prairie Coneflower casting shadows on the snow, Image by Jubilare

About jubilare

Just another tree in the proverbial forest. Look! I have leaves! View all posts by jubilare

39 responses to “Spring Interim

  • Josh W

    The ice storm that hit my neck of the woods around Christmas 2013 left a large branch dangling above our front door like a Sword of Damocles. Very unnerving, but yes – also very pretty.

    • jubilare

      Damoclean ice branch… I take it you had no visitors? My house is only accessible by steps, neither of which has railings (something I intend to fix) so that was unpleasant. I spent quite a bit of time melting ice with hot water and then drying it quickly up with towels before it could re-freeze!

  • bobraxton

    federal income tax filing (jointly) starting to weigh on me as well.

  • Mary

    I always feel slightly guilty in taking such pleasure in weather that is so very dangerous- but I just love ice and snow! And that’s probably because I see it so rarely. We were supposed to get a good bit of snow abut a week ago but, alas!, it turned out to be nothing but a lot of cold rain. Lovely pictures!

    • jubilare

      I feel a little guilty about loving tornado weather. But dammit, when the sky turns that strange color that is either green or orange (sometimes it looks like it is both simultaneously, I’m not sure how) and the wind is rushing by like the Furies, I just can’t help myself. There’s something in me that just loves it, that even wants to be out in it (though I do not want to meet an actual tornado… I am just talking about the kind of weather, here, that spawns them).

      All-in-all, I’d say loving the ice storm is more reasonable. It’s rare, and it’s gorgeous… that it’s dangerous, too, is a regrettable side-effect. ;)

      If we get another ice-storm tonight, which seems likely, I will try to take more pictures. This time, hopefully, I know how to use my new camera better. :)

      • Mary

        I suppose it’s a bit silly to feel guilty about loving something even though it’s dangerous because, goodness, even pencils can kill people.

        I look forward to seeing more pictures if/when you post them. As it hit the mid-70’s here today, I feel what little “winter” we have is quickly coming to an end.

  • Bill

    Beautiful pictures. Your porch dragon looks like drooling gargoyle (or an old befangled one).

    Was thinking of you yesterday while wondering when it would be dry enough to plant peas here. I remember you saying the goal there is to plant them on Valentine’s Day. I’m guessing that didn’t happen this year. :)

    Yesterday we had temps in the 70’s. Today it’s supposed to snow. Good grief.

    • jubilare

      Yeah, weather be crazy! As for planting peas, I am going to spend this year trying to ruthlessly exterminate the bermuda grass that has eaten my veggie garden. I’ve been told that my best non-toxic option is black plastic. :P So I will be getting my veggies from the farmers’ market this year!

  • Colleen

    I have not given up hope that we can find the poem your wrote as a child about the ice on the trees. You have loved those images all of your life.

  • technicolorlilypond

    I love these photos! They are enchanting. I particularly like your dragon, your weighed down juniper, and the shadows cast by coneflowers. Thank you for sharing! I also applaud your positive attitude in the face of such remarkable weather. :-)

  • wispywillow

    *gasp* You have a porch dragon!! So cute!

  • Urania

    Great photos! I always enjoy the dangerous yet stunning beauty of ice storms when we get them. One storm even inspired a short story for me.

    Also, David informs me that I am nearly as much of a dwarf fan as you…

    • jubilare

      Ooo, what story?

      Hmm, is possible. You tell me! https://jubilare.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/of-the-free-peoples-of-arda/ This series pretty much expresses my feelings on the matter. I’m always happy to hear that I’m not alone in my appreciation of the Khazad. ^_^

      • Urania

        Okay, I still don’t think I can properly rival you in Dwarf love, but the truth is that the Hobbit movies have certainly made me take more interest and have much more appreciation for the one fantasy race that I’ve hitherto pretty much entirely dismissed as uninteresting. I know, terrible of me, right? I will definitely read through your blog series

        This is my ice storm story:


        My comment on DA reminds me that the other inspirational factors included reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and defrosting my dorm fridge. You never know what inspirations you’ll find!

        • jubilare

          So long as you’re coming around. ;) As many problems as I have with the Hobbit films, I will say that they actually did a better job fleshing out the Dwarves than the book did. In-canon, Tolkien doesn’t really start giving them depth until LotR and the Appendices. The LotR films, as much as I liked them, did serious, and I do mean serious, injustice to Gimli!

          Inspiration does, indeed, come from the weirdest places… O_o

        • jubilare

          Just read your story. I’ll comment, here, as I don’t currently have a deviant account:

          What an utterly fascinating concept! You handle it very beautifully and poetically, here. Have you played with it at all since this?
          I ask, because I’m rather on a villain kick right now (I’ve had to delve a bit into one of mine. Creepy but interesting territory) and I can’t help wondering what would have happened if someone had used the life of an enemy in such a way… would the world have become an enemy, too, in the way that Amber became a love?

          • Urania

            Thank you! Nope, I haven’t done anything with the story/idea since then. Hmm…I don’t think the world would itself become malevolent unless perhaps the person you used to power it was evil and twisted. Maybe the nemesis still wouldn’t enjoy that world, though.

          • jubilare

            Maybe not evil, but possibly out to get said nemesis? I like the thought. Like I said, on a villain kick right now. ;)

      • Urania

        I should note that said comment from David was partially due to the inadvertent “dwarf shrine” that happened in my living room when a friend gave me a Thorin movie poster, and it ended up getting placed on a bookshelf with candles in front of it. The spirit of Durin glowers beneficently on our endeavors now…

        • jubilare

          Lol! Surprisingly, I have no Dwarf-shrine, save in my heart. My father was teasing me, the other night, as we watched the Battle of 5 Armies because he asked a question about the familial ties between the Dwarves, and I explained a bit too much. XD

          Here’s to Durin’s Folk, and to the King Under the Mountain.

          • Urania

            Okay, I’m sniggering and also just kind of embarrassed with myself right now because I just got a jar of this delivered in the mail this morning:


            I have become a big fan of indie cosmetics (thanks to an unsuspecting purchase of a Legend of Zelda forest green eyeshadow a year ago). I’m such a magpie when it comes to shiny things I can wear, and the glittery eyeshadow proved irresistible. AND given the fact that there are companies like Shiro Cosmetics which combine geekiness with girliness, I was a gonner. I have a handful of colors from the Hobbit collection, of course, plus some Zelda colors, and I just bought some Avengers colors in this last order. King Under the Mountain is a rich, soft brown that’s kind of exploding with silver and blue glitter, which would hopefully meet dwarvish approval. Who knows. It meets mine, anyway.

          • jubilare

            Lol! My dear Urania, you should know by now that you speak to a fellow nerd. I just went “squee!”

          • Urania

            Oh, it gets even worse: I have geeky perfumes, too. My most recent additions to my collection were some more Hobbit ones, “Dungeons Deep” and “Silvan King.” I have some more based on characters from the fantasy RPG series Dragon Age. And then one just called “Elf” that’s from a D&D collection that offered race, class, and alignment fragrances so you could literally build your character in scent. I’m so glad nobody out in the world can see the sheer amount of geek that I am wearing most days. I can feel awesome and preserve my dignity at once.

          • jubilare

            getting cramped. See full reply below. ;)

  • jubilare

    Worse, or better? Although, I think the perfume of a chaotic-evil-half-orc-necromancer might be… uh… somewhat less than alluring. The only reason I don’t have geek cosmetics is that I barely use cosmetics because I’m so busy being a geek. ;)

  • Urania

    Yeah, despite the fact that the D&D fragrances are meant to be layered, you do kinda wonder about some combinations… I do love my Elf one, though. Among other things, it apparently smells like “life everlasting.” XD Or, in my opinion, an elf’s immortal memory of a spring morning in a forest from the youth of the world.

    But that’s the beautiful thing: if you have geeky cosmetics, using them doesn’t actually take away from your geeky activities. ;) I actually never wore much makeup before, and really had no idea how to apply eyeshadow till I bought the Zelda eyeshadow because it was so awesome how could I not? And then I had the darn stuff and had to figure out how to use it. Which led to the discovery that makeup is waaaay too much fun.

    • jubilare

      Sounds like a great smell. Which reminds me, I love your use of smell in your writing. It’s a sense that many writers strangely forget about, despite it being one of the strongest memory-associated senses we have.

      I am definitely tempted by some of those Hobbit and Zelda eye-shadows. So pretty, and so nerdy!

      • Urania

        My advice, if you try indie makeup, is to make sure you use a good eye primer. Loose pigments behave differently than pressed eyeshadows and a good primer is essential to keeping them in place. There are even special primers designed especially to bring out the glitter effects in some of them, though that’s not really necessary (and can be hard to work with–I still haven’t gotten the hang of using my Pixie Epoxy, which is the awesome name of my glitter enhancing product).

        • jubilare

          What primers do you like?

          • Urania

            I have been using Two Faced Shadow Insurance. It’s more expensive than a drugstore brand, but it lasts for a long time. I use it every day, and my tube has lasted me a year already. There are other good ones out there; I consult the internet community by searching things like “best eyeshadow primer.” You’ll be able to come up with some consistent favorites that way, and choose whichever one sounds like a good fit for you.

  • Urania

    Reply spam! Oops, sorry. In reply to your remarks about dwarves above… Yes, one thing I really enjoyed about the Hobbit movies was how much they developed all the different characters of the dwarves. In the book, they’re mostly indistinguishable, other than Bombur (the fat one), Fili and Kili (the brothers) and Thorin. At least, that’s what I remember from my last reading. While their individuality didn’t get as much screen time as it should have, it was really fun to see it in the documentaries on my extended DVDs. You should watch those, if you can. With the first movie, there are a few nice chapters on the development of the looks and backstories for all the characters. Oh, golly, I just swoon over all the beautiful costume designs. Obviously, I pay a lot of attention to that kind of thing, since renaissance festival cosplay is a serious hobby of mine.

    • jubilare

      Balin. I definitely remembered Balin from the book because I liked him the best. :)

      As for the costume design, heck yeah. The design-work on those films, all 6 of them, were absolutely amazing.

      By the way! If you want more Dwarf-thoughts, make sure you read 2-4 of my Khazad series. I think you’d appreciate them. :)

      Also, would you and your Muse-y compatriots be willing to accept a Dragon’s Loyalty Award from blogging excellence?

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