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February 19, 2015

Twelve years ago, we suffered through the great ice storm of 2003. It started on Sunday, and I remember hearing trees succumbing to the weight of the ice and crashing down every few minutes.

We worried that the tall poplar trees surrounding our house, already leaning toward the house, would not be able to withstand any more of the ice that was forecast to fall mid-week.

While looking at the tree that we were worried about the most, I came up with a plan to get the ice off the side of the tree above the house and make the tree lean the other way, I used a 12-gauge shotgun to blast the ice off the limbs. Surprisingly, after half a box of number 4 shot, it worked.

*    *    *    *

The storm we endured on Saturday had some of the strangest weather I have ever seen. Our house has a covered front deck that faces north, and the wind was blowing so hard from that direction that the side of the house, beneath the porch, was snow blasted.

 We were watching birds landing on feeders, frantically trying to eat as much sunflower seed as quickly as possible, when a super gust of wind stripped all of the birds from the feeders and the trees. One minute the feeders and limbs had at least 20 birds on them, and the next, they were all gone.

They didn’t fly away, they were blown away. All that afternoon, the birds had to fight the wind and the snow. We saw snow blowing every which way even straight up in the air, and it was the only time I remember seeing the feeders covered in snow on all sides, top, bottom and all around.

*    *    *    *

The forecast for the remaining part of the week is calling for more of the same: snow and temperatures hovering in the single digits on both sides of the zero mark.

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