As the thermometer read three degrees, Otter Pond froze over. There was no snow, but with the wind it felt much colder. This is very unusual for these parts, where the low seldom drops below ten degrees.
The bright sun along the Eastern Blue Ridge Escarpment belied the bitter cold air covering the foothills forest. That’s Mount Shumont at 3,900 feet in the distance.
Oak Mountain overshadows an icy covered Otter Pond. The ice lasted for three days.
Ice from recent rains made driving a little treacherous on this country road.
Small forest ponds along Otter Creek also froze. This is rare because the water is moving through fairly rapidly, making a freeze difficult.
The forest floor resembles a coral reef more than a frozen Appalachian ground cover. Moss, sedum, lichens, and tiny ice plants make for a highly unusual scene.
Where Otter Creek exits the valley on its way to join Cove Creek, a rare collection of ice looked almost like snow. A year ago, this was part of a beaver pond, but a flash flood washed everything away. Just not meant to be.