The Big Chill of 2010, Day 1

I didn't have my camera with me as I traveled to and from work today so a picture from the iPhone camera will have to suffice. This is a fountain near the subdivision where I work as a hostess for a luxury home builder. Can you tell that's ice cascading from the basins even as the top bubbles melodiously? (Try double clicking to enlarge the image so you can see it better.)

I know all of us in the greater Houston area are very grateful that the rain stopped well before the temperatures dropped below freezing, keeping the roads free of ice and safe for travel. The low last night was around 27 and we made it all the way back up to 34 this afternoon before the temperatures started falling again. Right now at 10:30 pm it's 26 degrees and a low of 18 is a real possibility. I'm glad I made sure the birds had plenty of food for the day before I left this morning and used a mallet to break up the ice in the birdbath. I could already see a few signs of plant damage, both in my garden and around the neighborhood. A Philippine Violet that was only nipped by December's cold spell is fading fast. The palm trees in front of the model home had the peculiar yellow-orange hue that signifies freeze damage. I'll be watching my garden over the next couple of days and expect to see quite a few plants in sad shape. Dang it, I forgot to cover my allspice tree. It's against a wall on the south side of the house but I doubt that will help much. My only consolation is that covering it probably wouldn't make any real difference.

But hey, I'm now saved from feeling guilty about those nasturtium and sweet pea seeds that I have yet to sow. Had I done so in a timely fashion, the wee seedlings would have been nothing but cold green mush! Now I have something to look forward to doing in the garden next week!


Pam/Digging said…
Somehow it doesn't surprise me that Austin is experiencing a severe cold snap (we always have extreme weather, it seems). But Houston this cold? Now that's just not right! My garden saw temps of at least 15 F last night; that's what it read at 8 am anyway.
Gail said…
What a winter...I said the same thing about the fall and summer. It's been a fascinating few seasons in our gardens! Keep warm....gail
Cindy, MCOK said…
Pam, it's definitely a winter for the record books and the garden journals!

Gail, from an intellectual standpoint, I'm finding it very interesting to see what happens to the plants in such severe weather. Mostly I'm just doing my best to stay warm!