Friday, February 4, 2011

The week Austin turned into the Arctic

My garden has been in a deep freeze all week. Temperatures have consistently been in the low-mid teens overnight, with much lower windchills when the wind kicks up - at or below zero in some cases. The days have struggled to make it into the upper twenties. The upper twenties!!! That should so not be a high temperature at the 30th latitude! I haven't been in weather this chilly since I went skiing in the mountains up north.

This morning we woke up to snow and ice on the ground. Today is supposed to make it up above freezing - 35 degrees they say. Well, that is positively balmy, now isn't it? Let me throw on my shorts and flip flops and venture outside for some garden photos this fine summery morning:


The fountain this morning:

I have had to carry buckets of warm water out to the fountain every few hours to keep it from turning into one huge ice block. The other day when the wind chills were at or near zero and we were having rolling blackouts (don't ask - let me just say there was some very poor planning by ERCOT, our unreliable Electric Reliability Council of Texas), the very second the water stopped moving, the fountain would begin to ice over. I could actually watch, in real time, the ice building over the fountain. Here is what I have been waking up to the past couple of days:

I have to break off the ice every morning and add more warm water. The birds love that I keep the fountain going. They have been all over it the last couple of days:

Those birds better watch out though, I see tracks from their fearsome winter predator Felis catus in the immediate area:

Out in the front garden the agaves look particularly beautiful covered in the snow:

Although it has been wintery this week and snow and ice bankets the ground right now, I do spy some species tulips poking up signaling Spring shouldn't be too far away:

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