Baby! It’s Cold Outside!

hummingbird magic, In my Garden, Musings, Nature, Photography, The Four Seasons, Up Close & Personal ...

When the weather people announced snow for Portland last week, I got excited.
“Lucky me”, I thought! “I’ll build a snowman!”

Anticipating cold temps, I plugged in my hummer feeder heater to keep the nectar from freezing.

Soon, snowflakes were falling, a frigid gorge wind picked up speed
and the hummers kept competing for food.

Suddenly the snow turned to sleet, it got really cold and our windows started to glaze over.

The transition from snow to sleet came at us with lightning speed.

And wouldn’t you know it, the power went off! So much for my heated feeder and bird bath.

Our 6 to 8 inches of snow suddenly were covered with almost 2 inches of solid ice. Yikes!

My poor little friend sheltered in the iced-over plum tree.

Judy’s greenhouse suddenly grew really long icicles and her weather vane stopped turning.

Old seed heads were coronated with sparkling crowns of frozen precipitation.

To keep my feathered friends humming along I changed out the feeder throughout the day.

The grand old Douglas firs in our forest out back iced up too.

And Daniel Düsentrieb had to use his wings to keep his balance!


It got so slick and slippery outside that walking across the deck no longer seemed smart. Instead I put a makeshift feeder hanger right outside the patio door. When I brought the feeder out early in the morning, Daniel Düsentrieb watched from nearby. I waved the feeder and called out to him. He must have been starved as he came right over and started eating while I was still holding the feeder. After that, he came to the door almost every time I opened it, knowing that I had defrosted nectar for him.

By Saturday morning our beautiful maple’s branches were bent to the ground, heavy with ice.

As gorgeous as the ice-covered branches looked, all the ice was worrisome.

The crooked pine tree outside my office window was groaning.

A mourning dove came by to check out what was going on …

… when we suddenly heard explosive sounds both out front and in the back. The weight of all the ice was just too much for so many trees in our neighborhood, as it was for thousands of trees all over the Portland Metro area.

It was Valentine’s Day and over 300,000 homes in our area had lost power. While we were having coffee Sunday morning, thanks to a gas range and a stash of emergency ground coffee beans, I heard an incredibly loud explosion. I jumped out of my seat and shouted “That sounds like our tree”. It was! A huge branch had broken off and was blocking the street. With the help of a couple of neighbors, the Zendog was able to get the thing cut up and moved to the side.

Meanwhile, Daniel Düsentrieb kept a close watch on me and his feeder.

By Monday morning the sun came out and the temperatures started to warm a little. That afternoon I went into the garage to get some soup from the freezer. I felt a few drops of water land on my head. “Strange”, I thought. “I must be imagining it.” Then I felt a few more drops and when I looked up I saw some water leaking through the ceiling and slowly streaming down a nearby wall. I opened up the backdoor to see what was going on and encountered ice up to my calfs. There was also a huge ice dam up on the roof which prevented the melting ice from just flowing down. Fortunately we will be able to get it all repaired. We were lucky to get off so easy. Lots of people had trees crashing into their homes and now the brutally cold and icy weather system is making its way across the entire country.

Wherever you are, please stay safe and warm!

P.S. Daniel Düsentrieb was a character in Donald Duck comic books I used to read as a kid.
I named this hummer after him because of his speed and arial agility.

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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

27 thoughts on “Baby! It’s Cold Outside!”

  1. Wow, Sabine! I just read Marlene’s account of the ice storm. You guys were hit really hard. I’m glad you’re safe and warm. Is your power back on?

    The photos of things encased in ice are gorgeous. I remember one year in Eugene we had a big ice storm. The rose bushes were amazing, but our magnolia tree didn’t fare so well. Stay safe and take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Missy! This storm was wicked! The power in our neighborhood has been back on since Sunday night. What a relief! The worst part was being so cold despite wearing multiple layers and three pairs of socks. The snow and ice are melting away nicely and then the clean-up will start. Lots of debris and broken tree limbs but it’s all good. Did you guys just mostly have snow and really cold temps?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I pondered how I could help keep my hummers warm?
    I came up with a simple idea. Put a light bulb underneath! (25W?) The rising heat will keep their bums warm and who doesn’t like to have a warm bum I ask?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful images with consequences it seems… I love how you care for the humming birds and how trusting they are.. I hope your trees stay upright and your roof leak free.. Lovely post and images 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for visiting and reading my blog, Carol! Yes, there were plenty of consequences in our area with this ice storm. Some people around here still don’t have power. The hummingbirds have given me great joy for a very long time and so it seems only fair that I reciprocate by making sure they don’t starve during severe cold spells. 🙂


  4. What an adventure/challenge you have been experiencing, Sabine. We are used to cold and snow here (not so much ice) but it looks like you guys got a double whammy and with ice at that! I just loved your photos and text. I particularly liked “Old seed heads were coronated with sparkling crowns of frozen precipitation.” and its corresponding photo. Stay safe and warm. I hope the thaw is on the way – although that could be challenging as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, an adventure it was! Fortunately we got off easy compared to some people who are still without power. I really had hoped for just some nice snow and instead we got all that ice. It does look gorgeous when it encases everything in its path, but boy is it ever slippery. All this frozen stuff has melted away and we are back to regular Oregon winter weather: plain rain! 😉


  5. What beautiful images of the ice Sabine, even if it wreaked havoc with your world. It’s so sad to see those trees came down, but how beautiful that ice is as it drips from lamp posts, down your window, even the icicles. Glad you found the source of the drip. I found one today and took a photo and there was ice on the wall and only one icicle to be found, but problematic nonetheless and will be something for the handyman to scope out come Spring. My eaves troughs freeze and become like popsicles inside all Winter long, despite the handyman cleaning the gutters in late November and getting whole house insulation in 2017. All troughs are frozen solid right now. Your poor hummers and the disgruntled Daniel Düsentrieb made me smile. You are resourceful to be able to still provide liquid sustenance for them despite your own loss-of-power woes. You sure have a wealth of images here and I hope you never see another ice storm the likes of this one again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Linda! There’s beauty in everything I believe, even a crazy ice storm. Things are almost back to normal at our house except for repairing the water damage and we will have to remove the big tree out front. That makes us very sad! I drove through the neighborhood yesterday and was shocked at how many trees look like broken off toothpicks. One entire street lost just about all its trees. Now it’s back to regular rain. If it weren’t for all the damage the ice storm left behind one would never know what went on here during Valentine’s weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well glad things are back to normal, but sorry for that siege and the damage it left in its wake. I’ve seen photos on the new sites I follow after windstorms during volatile Summer storms where huge trees are uprooted and you’ll see them in the middle of the street, toppled over onto houses or cars. Mother Nature’s fury sometimes is incredible!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Mother Nature is incredible! We’re still waiting on the tree guy since we’re not really a true emergency. It will take a long while for things to get cleaned up around here. Be safe with your weather!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hopefully the restoration to normal doesn’t take too long for you Sabine. I did not walk this morning – much milder out, but lots of icy patches and slushy places, so decided against it … hopefully tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I came across a great article this morning on how to walk and stay upright in increment weather. Everything’s melted but the repairs and taking down the tree will take a bit of time. Good thing we’re not going anywhere! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have taken a few tumbles while going to the bus back in the day. I do have a pair of crampons and also the heavier pair of Yaktrax Pro which I got the last year I worked and took the bus, but we had a mild Winter and I didn’t need them. I feel most stable in my regular hiking boots with the heavy lug soles with nothing added to them. I will be happy when the threat of ice and snow on the road or path is completely done for the reason.

        Liked by 1 person

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