Just Wednesday, the high temperature was 77 degrees. And then, an arctic cold front blew through and temperature dropped below freezing by Thursday afternoon. Rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow began falling Thursday night and now everything is coated in a layer of ice. The ice should stick around for a while because the temperature is not expected to rise above freezing until, possibly, Sunday afternoon.
Four Nerve Daisy blooms almost all year, even when coated in ice.
The Horsetail Reed in the stock tank is frozen solid.
Skeleton-leaf Goldeneye still has flowers and is now frozen in time.
Little Bluestem and Pine Muhly grassicles in the front garden.
The ice is weighing down the limbs of several woody plants like the Flameleaf Sumac behind the Agave. The leaves of the Flameleaf began turning orange last week. The were not flaming enough to keep the ice away.
The leaves of the Possumhaw Holly have not dropped yet which provides additional attachment points for the ice and increases the weight on the limbs.
Even the thorns on the Hercules Club tree are coated in ice.
Looking across the front garden in the opposite direction.
A close up of a Pine Muhly grassicle.
It is hard to tell that this is Mexican Feathergrassicle.
I have noticed that my Pale-leaf Yucca and Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus lose some of their normal blue tint when they are frozen.
A closer look at Little Bluestem grassicle.
The Weeping Yaupon Holly looks like it was frozen in mid-weep.
I am six and a half feet tall and I used to be able to walk under the red oak in my backyard. Now several of the limbs touch the ground.
When the wind blows, the ice covered leaves clink together like the crystal on a chandelier. But the ice storm came at a bad time because so many trees are still full of leaves.
As I mentioned before, the ice coated leaves and branches creates extra weight and sometimes the weight becomes too much and the branches snap. I saw two broken branches on my red oak. The wind picks up occasionally and it
Both my Desert Willows are weeping severely.
So much so that both have major splits and will need to be cut to the ground. I have been expecting this to happen. I always loose my Desert Willows when they reach this size. They either split or the wind causes them to lean too much. After I cut them down, they will probably resprout from the stump.
Even with the numbing effects of the Toothache Tree, this broken branch was painful to see. I considered removing this branch over the summer because I thought it could improve the shape of tree. I decided to leave it and now there is a nasty wound almost halfway through the trunk. This tree had not shed its leaves either.
I removed a few Desert Willow limbs so they would not crush any other plants. I was a little surprised at how heavy the ice coated limbs were.
Next door, my neighbor's pecan tree was blocking the alley.
And their driveway. I have a feeling that arborists and opportunists that do not know anything about proper tree pruning techniques will be busy hacking at trees over the next few weeks.
Since several of my trees are breaking from the weight of the ice, it is good timing that I received two trees in the mail today. I received a Texas Redbud and a Bur Oak through a partnership between my electric delivery provider, Oncor, and the Arbor Day Foundation. The best part is that the trees were free. You may qualify for free trees too. The Arbor Day Foundation partnered with other utilities to help customers reduce utility costs by planting shade trees around their homes. Here is the link to the website. http://energysavingtrees.arborday.org.