Friday, January 23, 2009

Pretty But Deadly

No I'm not talking about Foxglove or Monkshood, but my icicles which are the only things growing in my garden - well that and the snow piles. The views you see are of my garden in the winter. Ok so you really don't see the garden much in the top one. The icicles made it to over 5' long. It is hard to see that they are that long from the perspective in the photos but they are. The strange light patterns that you see on the snow in the garden are not window reflections. They are the sun bouncing off the icicles, which gives you a better perspective for their size.

Today I was out hacking away at the 5" of ice on the driveway under the icicles and looked up. Ack! 3' monsters on that side of the house. I went inside and knocked most of them off. I figure it is safer that way.


  1. Wow, they're like huge fangs, ready to take a bite out of the next innocent passerby!

  2. They sure are beautiful, but I think I might not be a fan of walking underneath them! It's been 36 years since I've seen any decent icicles...

  3. Daphne .. those are really killer ice "blades" ! .. have you seen Sandy's over at the Gardenpath ?
    They are amazing with the colour she was able to capture .. yours look very scary, girl !! LOL

  4. I've never seen such huge icicles. Great pictures!

  5. Amazing, aren't they! Largest I've ever seen. Thanks for showing them to us. You should get a prize for those!

  6. I was doing the same thing today, those icicles have turned the side driveway into an ice rink. I'm ready for spring!

  7. Great shots of some amazing cold stalagtites. The reflections on the snow is really nice, and does give a sense of scale.
    Looks like you have been really dumped on, snow wise! I really wish we could have some.
    I hate to say this but we were almost touching 80 degrees here in Austin, Texas today.

  8. Thanks all. We had icicles last year, but not quite to this extent. If you think mine are big, you should have seen some others in the area. One went from the roof to the ground.

  9. Hi Daphne -

    It is not normal to have such icicles. It usually means your house is leaking heat via the roof - either through air leaks or radiation through inadequate attic insulation. The net effect is that it is going to reduce the life of your roof and create ice dams that could cause leaks. Needless to say, the carbon footprint of your house is likely very high compared to a similar house with better insulation.

    You should have an energy auditor take a look at the this. I am having similar situation and getting an audit done soon.

    BTW, NationalGrid and NStar have $2000 rebates on weatherization and insulation projects until March 2009. Plus if the new stimulus bill passes, you can get a 30% tax rebate on the insulation expense.


  10. BJR, Cool rebates for fixing your house. Here at the time all the houses in the area had them to a greater or lesser extent. The weather was hovering at just the right temperature (just below freezing). Even the kid's playhouse that is totally unheated in the yard had icicles, which I'd never seen before. Very freaky. That being said, I agree under insulated roofs usually do have more issues with icicles and ice dams (not to mention the issues with heating your house). Our roof in that section is bad. It is very long roof and the bottom part has a cathedral ceiling. We added lots of insulation to all the other parts of the attic as soon as we moved in except that one, because we couldn't get to it. We would have to rip the whole roof off and even that might not help since it may or may not have the depth to put in more insulation. I actually had an energy audit here 17 years ago when we first moved in. They gave us free compact fluorescents (sort of compact, nothing like the nice ones we get now). I highly recommend them.

    Oh btw I did say under insulated roofs USUALLY have less issues. My daughter's landlord won't let her insulate the roof over their apartment because when they do that ice dams start to form. Sigh. I would think enough insulation would fix the problem.