Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Ice Man Cometh

We were warned. The National Weather Service predicted we'd be getting freezing rain and up to a half-inch of ice by noon today, and this time they were right. The rain kept falling and the ice kept building up. While this makes for great picture-taking opportunities, it can also cause car accidents and power outages.

Fortunately, we were able to stay cozy inside, with no interruption to the amenities we enjoy such as satellite television and internet service. We had planned to spend the day with Kara and Adam, but road conditions didn't allow for it.

I carefully ventured out at mid-day for a fifteen-minute photo session with the ice-covered plant life. It was still raining at that time and it didn't take too long for me to become damp and very cold.

I have a hard time keeping this bird feeder filled. I think the seeds are too easy for them to get to and they flick them out a lot quicker, so it's generally empty. Not that they could even get through the icy gate guarding the feeding tray anyway . . .

Come to think of it, most of the birds were in their own cozy hideaways today. I guess they're much like the airplanes that don't fly very well with ice on their wings. It was strangely quiet as I was walking around out there in the cold soupy rain.

We've got a bluebird house that we put up last spring when we saw bluebirds near the garden. I think we were a little too late for the bluebirds, but a wren made use of it. The nest is still inside the box, but we'll clean it out one of these days so it's ready for the bluebirds next spring.

Amazingly enough, there were still some colorful buds and blooms out there and they appeared to be encased in crystal. First I noticed the pelargoniums . . .

. . . then the violas . . .

Remember the Miscanthus in the last picture from Wednesday's post? This is what it looks like now.

The 'Hameln' Pennisetum takes on the look of an otherwordly organism.

The spiraea hedge is entirely coated and I wonder if it will hurt any praying mantis cases that may be there. This hedge was home to seventeen of them last winter.

The honeysuckle (
Lonicera x brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet') flower buds that were so colorful in the snow just a few days ago have had the red sucked right out of them now.

The catkins on Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'Contorta')
are encapsulated by the ice.

The 'Hot Cocoa' floribunda rose isn't looking so hot just now.

A nameless heuchera's dried flower heads are preserved in ice, looking somewhat like crystal beads.

The burning bush (Euonymus alata) has been nearly stripped of its berries by the birds, but the few that remain received a glossy topcoat.

I forgot to remove the seedheads on the Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium), so we'll likely have little seedlings come spring, but I do enjoy seeing the seedheads waving in the breeze. Today, they were "tinkling' as they knocked against each other. Kind of cool, hearing that.

The really only safe place to walk outside after an ice storm is in the grass. Though each blade is coated in ice, it's a cushioned surface, unlike cement, stone, and wood.

We get a little reprieve until Monday night, when more freezing rain is due in, and possibly some snow, into Tuesday. Winter has definitely arrived.


verobirdie said...

We get some frost here, but rarely strong one. Freezing rain is unknown, so imagine the effet of those pictures on me! Beautiful!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Absolutely fantastic pictures! It is too bad the ice can be so destructive because it makes everything just sparkle. Have the Best of Weeks....Rosie

Genie said...

I love ice photos -- these are gorgeous!

gintoino said...

Those are beautifull pictures. We rarely have frost here and the temperature never goes bellow 45F (and that's already too cold for me) so I will never see those images in my garden

Connie said...

Wow...What beautiful ice photos! We are getting snow today, and looks like it could be an all day thing... It's a winter wonderland out there!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Brrrrrrrr these pictures absolutely make me cold looking at them. Great pictures of ice.

Here we have only had rain so far luckily.

I like the picture you put on the sidebar. It is so appropo for this time of year.

Mamma Sarah said...

Wow, great pictures of your icey wonderland. Who knew that ice and flowers go so well together.

Unknown said...

So YOU got the ice that somehow passed us by in spite of all kinds of dire warnings and predictions. What pretty pictures... but even so, you can keep the ice over there!

Anonymous said...

Wow, we don't have anything like that here in Florida. I wouldn't even know how to prep my garden for that! Great pictures though...mesmerizing.

Shady Gardener said...

Beautiful, inspiring photos! That's making "lemonaide out of lemons!"

We've had a smaller amount of ice here, and are supposedly to receive a lot tonight. We'll see. If we do, I'll have to head outdoors with a camera tomorrow! You've inspired me! ;-)

Ewa said...

Mr Ice Man worked a lot in your garden leaving all this precise ornaments - they look cool?
Here in Poland, weather is mild so far. Greetings,

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Such lovely pics Kylee of flowers captured in ice. Thanks for going outside in the cold and taking them!

Driving in weather like that can be very dangerous so I'm glad you stayed at home.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Ice is beautiful, but so very dangerous. In 2001, when we lived in Tennessee, we had a major ice storm. The destruction was unbelievable and some people were without power for weeks. Hopefully you won't have damage from this one. Be careful!

Annie in Austin said...

Your photos are lovely, Kylee, especially the pennisetum.

After last January's Austin ice storm I hope we have no more photo-ops like that this winter. Walking and driving with ice is horrible!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

kate said...

The photographs are really lovely, but I'm glad we haven't had any freezing rain here. It's great that it didn't affect your power, telephone etc.

I like the photograph of the catkins on the Harry Lauder Walking Stick.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Kylee, I was going to send a private email but you're not set up for that. I wanted to see if you could do me a favor. I changed up my blog, using a wider template. Most of the blogs are set up like yours, (and mine was), with everything in the center and wide strips on the side. I don't know if this serves a purpose or not. In your "Favorite Things" post you said that you have a smaller Dell laptop, I wanted to see if you could pull up my blog on your laptop and let me know if you can see everything. I'm not sure if it will shrink down to fit a smaller screen or if it can't all be viewed. I don't want to eliminate any potential viewers with a larger template. You can delete this comment if you want too.

Kylee Baumle said...

verobirdie ~ That's what's fun about reading blogs from all over the world - you get to see what it's like to garden in another place. Each have their own challenges, don't they?

Rosie ~ We've been lucky so far. This last ice didn't do much damage here, but we're in for possibly some more in the next day or so.

Genie ~ Thanks! I didn't do it; I just recorded the evidence! ;-)

gintoino ~ Well, it can be pretty, but I think I could admire it from afar for awhile. Winter isn't my favorite season, but it has its good points, too.

Connie ~ I know what you mean. I hope we get a nice easy snow for Christmas!

Lisa ~ Thanks, I thought I should change the picture to fit the season. :-)

mama sarah ~ Yeah! Who knew? LOL I'd rather have sunshine and warm temps, though.

Kim ~ Ah, your day is coming, I'm sure. Maybe even tonight!

susiesqs ~ I don't know that you CAN prep for it. Extra mulch, stake the young tall trees so they don't break from the weight, but other than that, there's really nothing. Unless it's excessive, the ice really doesn't hurt anything.

shady gardener ~ Well, I'll just have to head on over there and see if you got that ice! We may get some more tonight, but I hope not.

Ewa ~ And let's just hope you continue having a mild winter!

Yolanda Elizabet ~ It was very slippery, but I tried to stay in the grass, where it's safer to walk.

Robin ~ There have been some awful ice storms over the years. I remember a very bad one when I was in the fifth grade over Christmas break ('66-'67). No power for quite awhile. The neighbors came down and stayed with us because we had a fireplace to keep us warm and for cooking. I remember playing Twister and roasting hot dogs over the fire.

Annie ~ I hope you don't have ice too often down there. It sounds unusual to me for Texas to have that, but I know they do from time to time.

Kate ~ Yes, I'm glad we didn't lose power either. I'd have been going nuts!

Anonymous said...

Gardener’s Anonymous
Gorgeous pictures.
The flowers trapped in ice are amazing.
I hope you didn't have to lay down to get the lawn picture. Brrrr.

Kylee Baumle said...

Robin ~ Actually you can e-mail me directly through my profile page. I checked your new 'look' and it's wonderful! It has a much more open look, which I like. I want to do something similar with my template, but I'm afraid I'll mess everything else up.
It looks great on the laptop, too!

GA ~ Thank you! And while I didn't lay down to get that grass picture, I did get down on my knees and elbows. Brrrrr is right!

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