From the hotel: strange, glacial beauty

More television. During one of my restless moments, I opened the curtains to look outside. It was the first time I'd looked outside since twilight fell. I forget the eerie beauty that comes with ice storms. My window has icicles that vary between six and eight inches long. The asphalt parking lot twinkles in the light; there is at least an inch of ice there. I cannot even imagine what the roads must be like.

But strangest and most beautiful are the trees. The young pines will probably snap soon. They have gone from touching their toes to curled up in almost-fetal positions. But there are two older trees, shaped like redbuds, that are the most beautiful of all. Their habit of growing a profusion of slender branches as opposed to a few small branches gives them more acreage to collect ice.

The end result is a tree of spun glass, glowing in the lamplight. It is the ultimate irony of ice storms: the very thing that is so deadly is also incredibly beautiful.