I had not realized that Vermont had recently gotten hit with an ice storm of this nature -- similar, it seemed, to the one that devastated western Massachusetts a couple of years ago (although there did not appear to be as many broken trees in Vermont, or at least along this stretch of road). It seemed as if every tree had a thick, glistening, glittering coat of ice, and that, coupled with the bright sunlight, made for quite a sight as I drove the curving road up and over Hogback Mountain. I stopped in several locations to take a few photographs, but I could easily have spent all day there and blown through the entire sixteen gigabyte memory card in my camera -- there were that many beautiful images to be captured.
After leaving Hogback Mountain, I headed towards WIlmington, VT, and took Route 100 south towards Massachusetts. As I was driving up the first long incline, I saw a dirt road heading off into the woods, with the sun beating down on the ice-crusted trees lining both sides of the road. It was an arresting sight, a great photo opportunity, but I was by it in seconds.
It stuck in my mind, though, and a mile or so down the road, I pulled over, turned around, and drove back. I ended up taking almost as many photos in that spot as I had in several on the way up to (and including) Hogback Mountain.
This dirt road did not seem to be heavily-traveled. I stood under some of the trees and listened for a while to the soft, intermittent clatter as bits of the coating on the branches -- the ice loosened by the heat of the sun and the movement of the branches in the wind -- fell onto the still-hard crust of snow covering the ground.
I am looking forward to spring, and I want to see all of this frozen water gone, and soon… but I have to admit that on a day like today, seeing a large part of the ordinary world briefly transformed into this shining, scintillating marvel is quite magical. -- PL