Northcentral Pennsylvania receives fairly frequent ice storms when supercooled rain falls and freezes almost instantly when it hits the ground, trees or other objects. Two days after a light freezing rain I headed to a wooded park in the Big Woods to hike out to an old abandoned farm.
All of the trees and shrubs and dry stalks of herbaceous plants were coated with a thin layer of ice:
The branches of a hawthorn –
A small crabapple still hanging from a twig –
White pine needles –
Goldenrod and aster stems weighted down by the ice –
The buds containing next spring’s mountain laurel flowers –
And a dry sweetfern leaf –
Sweetfern actually isn’t a fern; it’s a shrub related to bayberry and more distantly related to walnut and beech trees.
This ice storm didn’t result in enough ice forming on the trees and shrubs to cause any damage, but a few years ago what began as light snow changed to an ice storm that resulted in major damage to many trees over large areas.