In my last post, an ice storm was in the weather forecast. We get these every year but this one hit with a wallop. In fact, it’s being called the worst ice storm ever to hit Oklahoma. It started around 2 a.m. Sunday at our place, with the hissing sounds of ice pellets falling, and shortly afterward the power went out, and stayed out. The morning light showed a transformed world of glassine beauty and menace.
Every grass blade, tree, shrub, bird feeder and even some bird’s tail feathers were coated with a thick varnish of ice that weighted it down. In the case of the trees, this spelled disaster. The sound of breaking limbs could be mistaken for rifle shots. All around us the deadly beautiful ice was taking down live wood. We were lucky, our beautiful grand Post oaks held up well, but in the city of Norman, the devastation is awesome.
Something over half a million Oklahomans are currently without power right now, not good news, especially when it might be eight to ten days before it comes back on again. We realized, after a day or so without heat, phone service, water (our well pump is electric) or indoor plumbing, and running low on firewood, lamp oil, and most importantly, chocolate, the adventure was wearing thin. As the house grew colder and colder we dressed up in our coats and hats and gloves and mufflers, not to go outside, but simply to stay warm indoors while reading by the fire.
Making Cowboy coffee on a VERY cold morning
This morning we packed up the pets and some bedding and clothes, and moved into Mike’s campus office, which has heat, light and even internet. There’s a refrigerator in here that’s normally used by the Ant Lab to store thousands of ant specimens in small vials. The specimens are now sharing space with cheese, lunch meat and fruit. We’ll be eating most of our meals at the student union since the local restaurants are dark and closed. We are VERY lucky to have a warm place to go to today. We’ll be here for the foreseeable future as more stormy weather is coming- snow and ice and deep freeze. And the power may be out for many days to come.
Aftermath of the ice storm, on the OU campus in Norman, Oklahoma
I haven’t been totally idle, however. Although I wanted to post the next installment of my Goatsucker ID plate adventures, that will have to wait as it’s on a different computer than my handy, portable Powerbook. I’m also keeping a sketch journal of The Great Oklahoma Ice Storm of ’07 and Mike has a scanner around here somewhere. Stay tuned.