Last night's ice storm was likely a problem or at least an inconvenience for most of us, but one Lehigh County man couldn't wait for it. Out front of his home stands a 25 foot ice sculpture of sorts, and it's called the Stellar Ice Tree.
If you're driving on Memorial Road in Schnecksville, you might see this monstrous piece of ice in TJ Stellar's front yard, and it's called the Stellar Ice Tree.
It's kind of hard to miss, and it's not even a real tree and he creates this every year.
"I take three large trees, stand them together in a teepee, secure them to the ground, and then tie them at the top." Stellar said, "And then once they're tied together, I then fill in all the empty space below and up above with brush."
Once he has the base, he waits until winter's deep freeze is really here to stay which usually happens around the beginning of January.
"Once the first cold front comes and goes, I don't put water on it then. But when the second cold front starts setting up - that's when i go. the second cold front comes through, and that's when i start putting the water on." he said.
Making this masterpiece is part construction, part science. He has three ladder-mister stands which each apply water differently with multiple nozzles. And the weather each day will decide which one he uses.
Stellar said, "Some mist, some spray a stream of water, and it all depends on how cold it is and how windy it is depending on how much water I can put on what type of water I want to put on it."
His favorite part of it all is people stopping by to take pictures and saying hello. Over five cars stopped and stared within the hour News13 was there.
"And especially now with the coronavirus and everybody being cooped up in their house. it's so great, as you saw, people stopping by and telling me this made their day." Stellar said, "And to hear that just one time makes my day."
Although Stellar spends a lot of time working on this ice tree - sometimes climbing up to the top to add more to it, this is not an original idea but a family tradition he's been carrying on which his great grandfather started in the 1960s.
"The reason this whole thing started was his township in New Jersey wanted to impose a water tax. So he decided alright if you're going to charge me to use water, I'm going to use it." Stellar laughed, "So he started piling sticks in his front yard and started spraying it with water. And that was his protest to the water tax."
Make sure to drive by at night when Stellar illuminates the ice tree with all different colored lights.