Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dodging the shards

Life returned to something like normal this morning after two days of suspended animation. School was delayed by two hours, which meant we didn't have to get up until an oh-so-civilized 8 a.m. instead of our usual 6. I could get used to that.

By 9, huge chunks of ice were cascading from the magnolia tree. I kept stepping outside to make sure that the crashing sounds were only ice and not more limbs falling. As far as we can tell only a few small branches, in addition to the one big one that snapped off yesterday, are actually broken. The bigger limbs are still hanging low in spots but that seems to be more about the water still on the leaves than any damage. The tree looks much like it usually does after a heavy rain (except for the shards of ice piled underneath. A truly amazing amount of ice. Each leaf was coated and each piece fell, sometimes one or two at a time and other times one piece from the top starting an avalanche).

The orchid tree and the roses seem to have rebounded although Old Blush got pushed down and in on itself and is now tangled and leaning. I think once it dries out a bit and I can get in there and untangle the canes, it will be mostly back to its old self. It probably needed to be pruned anyway.

A number of things that hadn't frozen back will need to be cleaned up: the Mexican flame vine, the purple heart, zexmenia, purple fountain grass, and the Pride of Barbados and hamelia. It's supposed to rain for the entire next week so it may be a while before I get out there with my loppers.

I was sure this freeze would be the end of the big agave americana near the front door. Last year, in temperatures in the mid 20s, even covered it suffered considerable damage. We thought about replacing it but by mid-summer last year we hadn't gotten around to it and it had put out enough new fronds to look presentable again. On Sunday or Monday when I was bringing plants inside and covering things I didn't do anything about the agave. And, as far as I can tell, it's mostly okay. Maybe the thick coating of ice protected it? Or maybe the temperatures just never got low enough to damage it?

1 comment:

Annie in Austin said...

This ice storm has surprised me by leaving less damage than it appeared at first. I agree that the ice on the Magnolia leaves was truly amazing - when the ice started sliding off, it was really noisy in our back yard. I hope your orchid tree is okay... mine's only 10-inches high and is in a container. It wasn't big enough to be cracked, but it not survive the totally frozen roots... just have to wait.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose