Walt's Look Around: Delta Ice Storm - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Delta Ice Storm

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Since we don't get that winter precipitation all that often here, it's worth a story when it happens. But I don't particularly care for doing a bunch of them every year.

These are the fertile fields where corn, soybeans and cotton grows in summer, and where winter storms grow in winter. If you've noticed they start here right around Mississippi, and then make news for several days as they strengthen from here, paralyzing the rest of the south east and then up the Atlantic seaboard.

Most of the time they are just rainstorms here, taking on winter characteristics on down the line. Sometimes even we get a good snowstorm out of the deal. But lots of times they are ice storms here where the cusp of the warm moist air from the south first meets with the bone chilling cold from the north and overlaps into winter precipitation.

An ice storm isn't so bad if you can still drive through it and you don't lose power or have a tree limb fall on your house or your car. Meeting all of those stipulations, an ice storm can magically transform the world overnight into an altered reality.

It's the same place, but not the same, either, with an eighth or a quarter of an inch of ice coating everything from weeds, transforming them into sparkling wands of diamond clusters in silver settings; to tree limbs, helping pine boughs live up to their name, by making them bow under the load of ice on them.

But primarily the ice shows the world in another light, in a way that makes you look at things differently, because things are different. How the ice frames a familiar roadway in a fresh way, and refocuses the point of interest in an everyday landscape.

The ice on tree limbs cracks when the wind blows. You forget that. And you wonder how the animals who have to live in it can stand the cold, like the delta's ubiquitous redwing blackbirds.

They seem excited to be getting frozen food for breakfast. But they cope with the ice much like the rest of us do, knowing that in a few days it will be 70 degrees again. Melting the world back to normal here.

The more bitter the winter, the sweeter the spring that follows. And this spring ought to be a doozie after the winter we are having.

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