Icicles on the kids’ playhouse transformed it into a fairy-tale gingerbread house—for about two minutes until they gleefully knocked them down and sampled a few.
After 4 inches of gully-washing rain fell on Saturday morning, we drove to Houston for the weekend to watch my husband and sister run in Sunday’s Houston Marathon and Half-Marathon, respectively. That night we watched ominous news reports about expected ice on Monday afternoon, so we drove home early Monday morning, arriving home by noon. While the car had ice on the grill and wiper blades by the time we pulled into our driveway, we found the roads clean and safe. Overnight, more light rain fell and froze, and by this morning the streets were coated with thin, black ice, and schools were closed.
Big, fat flakes of snow, such as I’ve never seen in my 12 years in Austin, were falling a few hours ago (see Zanthan’s video), though now it’s a mix of sleet and smaller flakes of snow. The kids and I bundled up and explored the garden this morning, amazed at its transformation. Flowers were encased in “fairy bubbles” of ice, as my youngest described it. Supple young trees like the orchid tree, wax myrtles, and Barbados cherry were bent double under the weight of the ice that coated their branches. The ice encasing each blade of grass in the lawnette crackled under our feet.
Purple coneflower encased in ice
The Anacacho orchid tree bows deeply over the American beautyberry bush and fence.
Whale’s tongue agave under ice
A wide shot of the front garden, looking southwest. All the greenery—bulbine, agave, skullcap, and Mexican oregano—is coated in and beautifully frosted by the ice.
The naturalistic back garden under the cedar elm. Same story: the late-winter/early-spring growth of spiderwort, heartleaf skullcap, and Texas betony wears a shiny coat of ice. The Southern wax myrtles along the fence are bent beneath it.
Ice skating, anyone? The container pond has frozen, although the ice is only about 1/4 inch thick.
The seedheads of the black-eyed Susans are encased in lollipops of ice.
Barbados cherry, bent double under the weight of the ice. This is really the only plant I’m worried about, as it’s marginally hardy this far north.
Bottle tree with icicles
There is much beauty to be found in an ice “storm.” The real ice storm hit Oklahoma and the Midwest, and I’ve been fascinated by TV news pictures of its destruction but also its transformation of trees into jeweled lace.