An Obligatory ‘ It Snowed!’ Post

I only half believe most of the weather forecasts that I read or listen to. I generally take a broad view, assuming that the predictions are more ball park suggestions of what might happen day-to-day in my part of the world. Long-term forecasts seem more accurate than the dailies, but meteorology is an inexact science, which makes it fascinating to follow and keeps gardeners on their toes. Sometimes, those are frozen toes.

The forecast for Sunday was 100% rain, possibly turning to snow, with temperatures remaining a smidge above freezing. With the forecast of possible snow for Sunday, I was piqued, but realistic: nah, not gonna happen.

Mea culpa, I’m glad I was wrong! It did snow!

Throughout the day, the pond waterfall lent its melody to the garden during the quiet of snowfall.

Snowfall is rare here in Austin, Texas. In past decades, we’d receive snow at intervals less than yearly, roughly every-other-year. In these climate change times, we’re much more likely to experience ice storms rather than snowfall. Yesterday, the white stuff began falling mid-morning and didn’t stop until late afternoon. My garden received an 1.5 inches of snow and was a welcome sight and wonderful change.

We prepared the beehives for the next few days of wet and cold conditions, mixing up a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, just in case the bees have eaten through their honey stores (unlikely, but still…). So far, in these cold temperatures, the bees haven’t slurped the sweet stuff, but sugar water is ready for them in the next few days if they need it.

The bottle with sugar water stands in a holder, lid facing downward. The lid has holes where the sugar water drips and the honeybees sips.

When the snowfall began, I assumed it would be a short event, turning to rain within an hour or so. As the temperature hovered just above freezing, I assumed the whatever snow fell would melt immediately, or nearly so, which proved accurate in the first hour. After a couple of hours of light to heavy snowfall, with no slow-down of snow fall, I donned a coat, hat, and gloves and commenced covering the few cold-sensitive plants in my garden. The only thing I regularly protect from our limited bouts of frosty winter weather are the several groups of Dianella or Flax Lily, Dianella tasmanica. A great plant for our hot summers and one of my favorites, as it’s beautiful in shady conditions, it’s the only plant that suffers true damage during cold temperatures. I really like this plant, so I’m committed to covering.

This little ceramic owl braves the snow and looks dashing with its snow hat. Its two owl buddies were underneath the blanket covering a group of Flax Lily, therefore no snow hats or photos of them!

This morning sees clear skies and melting snow. It’ll warm a bit today, but a hard freeze is forecast for tonight; it’s January, it’s expected.

So for Monday, we say so long! to our brief snowy show and appreciate the distraction from the craziness of the world we live in.

Maneki-neko welcomes all weather conditions!

16 thoughts on “An Obligatory ‘ It Snowed!’ Post

    • It was a delight! I was tied down with some indoor projects and couldn’t get out as much as I would have liked, but the windows work, too, I guess. We have a bevy of snow people around our neighborhood, too. Fun!

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  1. Hard frost is far worse than a layer of snow which helps protect. Don’t get much in the way of the white stuff these days, not like when I was young.
    Btw managed to source a couple of pots of Blue Mist Flower just waiting for a dryish spell to get them in my new bed.

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  2. Lovely pic of the snowy garden. I didn’t think it would snow either and I am 100 miles north of you. But it did snow and I believe many of us were as surprised as you. The flakes were huge and came down steadily for about 4-5 hours. I still have snow in my yard in places today, but more than half of it is gone today. The year with significant snow in my neck of the woods was in 1949. I remember the snow. Most years there was a dusting of sleet..

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    • It was a surprise, but a nice one. I’m just glad I didn’t have to go anywhere! Driving in snow is not something I have much experience with. The last time I saw snow–and drove in it–was in Santa Fe, in November 2018. There was about an inch that fell!

      The last time we had this much snow was in 1985; there were 3 different snowfalls that January, each one left snow on the ground for a day or so. Since then, it’s mostly ice storms which aren’t nearly as sweet.

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  3. I kept watching the snow line creep closer, but you were the lucky ones this time. Our big snow was the Christmas Eve miracle in 2007, when the coast was the lucky recipient. I love the combination of snow and greenery in your photos. When ours came, I built a little snowman and tucked lantana blooms in his hat!

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      • This may give you a chuckle. A friend (born in Iowa, now dividing his time between Chicago and Austin) wrote: “Even in ideal weather conditions, Austinites drive like lobotomized chimpanzees. Thinking about bringing a lawn chair and thermos of hot cocoa to a freeway overpass and settling in for some real entertainment.” That reminds me of the early 80s, when we had some ice and the recent transplants from Michigan would take to the enclosed pedestrian overpasses in downtown Houston to point and giggle.

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    • It was so fun! I wish I’d had more time on Sunday to go outside to play, but still watching from windows was a treat. I agree with you: no one wants sleet. Yuch!

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