Winter Came Back

Last week old man winter snuck back when I wasn’t paying attention.

Ice covering Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis) tree.

Ice on Yellow Lead Ball bush and Crape Myrtle.

The good news is that this winter event brought rain – over five inches.  Hip, hip, hooray.

The beautiful Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana) looked really sad.

The weight of the ice on the branches was a concern.  But in a couple of days, it was melting, and the tree perked back up.

The Live Oak, too, was frosted with ice.

Another Chinese Pistache with ice.

Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) with ice.  Okay, you get the picture.

Texas Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana) is a native flowering small tree.  The rebar post was put there when it was small to mark the spot to avoid with the mower.  Guess it’s time to remove it.

Ice caked around a red rose hip on a climbing rose.

The hills were covered with ice, and it wasn’t fit for man nor beast to be out.  A paraphrase of a W. C. Fields quote.

From inside where it was warm and cozy, it looked dreamy.  And I’m so thankful for the rain.

“Sometimes my greatest accomplishment is just keeping my mouth shut.”  Zane Baker

Morning Snow

Early this morning I stepped outside on the front porch to photograph the snowfall.

snow4The cold wind kept me close to the front door.  Snow had dusted the leaves of a Live Oak.

snow5Probably less than an inch fell, but it’s such a rare event here that it’s mesmerizing.

snow6The rays of the rising sun swept across the trees.

snow7The Chinese Pistasho had a golden glow from the sun.

snow9During the night strong winds formed small snowdrifts with shapes that reminded me of White Sands in New Mexico.

snowaIn the distance the Blue Junipers looked like Christmas trees.

snowb

snowcA snow mound formed over a flowerbed.

snowdDead leaves still clinging to a Red Oak.

snow1The side yard as seen from the back patio revealed snow on only one side of tree trunks.  Maybe it was the wind that woke me at 4 this morning.

In the foreground is a Yaupon Holly.  To the right is a bare branched Red Oak.

snow8One bush beyond the yard looked like white lace.

snowSnow on one side of the Cherry Laurel tree.

snow3More Live Oaks.

snow2Cotton ball snow on tips of Sedum Brilliant dried flowers.

snowfSnow covered Autumn Clematis, which is evergreen.

snowgNice to look at, but not drawing me out into the weather.

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Dr. Suess

Tour of Homes: Part 2

This post continues our visit to Weatherford and the Candlelight Tour of Homes offered by the Parker County Heritage Society.

weatherfordtourIncluded on the tour was the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.  The museum is small.  To me, that size is a plus.  I’ve been to many large museums and know that I can only absorb a certain amount of information before my body and brain shuts down.

weatherfordtour2The scene to the left just before you step into the lobby is a nice view of Red Oaks that still had leaves.

Just inside, the ticket counter and exhibits are to the left.   A large reception space for weddings and other events are in a glass enclosed area to the right.

weatherfordtour3This stagecoach stands in the large foyer.  It was handmade by       J. W. Brown, a man who lived in Weatherford.  He repaired two stagecoaches in 1975.  Then he built 60 before his death in 2011 at age 83.  Some of them have been used in movies and TV shows.  He also built buggies, buckboards, surreys, chuck wagons, and even Roman chariots.

weatherfordtour4This looks much more comfortable than the old stagecoaches.  Note the leather straps that the body rests on.  That must make for an easier ride.  The detail in his work is awesome.

weatherfordtour8A special exhibit honoring Mary Martin, a native daughter, celebrated her 100th birthday.  The above picture is from a needlepoint rug she made as a novice needle-pointer.  The whole rug, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 feet, is still intact.  A video of a production with her son, Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing on “Dallas”, was showing on a big screen TV.  Other displays include letters and gifts to others.

weatherfordtour5

weatherfordtour6In one section about early settlers a method of cabin construction was set up.  The boards are cut in slants that keep the logs from slipping off one another.

weatherfordtour7

tourweatherford3This is the Brevard House that was built between 1890 and 1900.  It has original floors, woodwork, pocket doors, and decorative hardware.  It has been enlarged and modernized over the years.

It was crowded inside with lots of people touring, so I didn’t get photos inside.

tourweatherford1While waiting on the porch for our group to enter,  I snapped a few shots.  I thought it was clever to insert these Christmas decorations into an Asparagus Fern.  Also, I wondered how the fern was still green after all the freezing weather we’ve all had.

tourweatherford2The young homeowner must enjoy creative decorating.  Old springs from a chair cushion was displayed with modern holiday decorations.

tourweatherfordJust outside the porch was this ornamental tree.  Although it was pretty good size, I think it’s a Yaupon Holly.

Both of these places were great choices for the tour.

“Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”  attributed to Mark Twain

Ice, Again

Most of the nation is in the same boat with this winter storm.  It’s cold, icy, and dangerous out there.  So this is the fourth day we’ve been inside.  And cabin fever has descended.

Okay.  Okay.  The temperatures are much colder, the winter much longer, and the ice much thicker in many northern states.  But I purposely do not live in those areas.

snowiceAfter hearing sleet fall most of Wednesday night, on Thursday morning we awoke to what is referred to as a “winter wonderland”.  Except, that white stuff is deceiving.  Instead of snow, it is ice with a fine coating of snow powder.

snowice2Beside the flowerbed, there is a hidden sidewalk.  It’s also a hidden menace.

snowice3Thursday was overcast and in the low 20’s.  This is the first year that the Shantung Maple (Acer truncatum) has retained its yellow leaves past the heat of August.  It’s a reassuring sight that I hope means its roots have become established.

snowice4This Texas Ash or Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) also has kept its leaves through many high winds.

snowice5A snow/ice covered road on the ridge looks fun to travel on, but it’s iffy even in good weather.

snowice6Love this evergreen Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana).

snowice7On Saturday the sunlight peeked out of the clouds long enough to make shadows on the white ground.  This small Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria) had long shadows at midday.

snowice8Today, Sunday, the temperature rose to 37 by noontime.  Skittering leaves travel above the hard packed ice.

snowiceaTo keep from going stir crazy, we take a walk.

We didn’t slip, slide too much.  In the sun, the ice had melted just enough to walk on.  In the shady areas, it was still slick.

snowice9Tonight this will all freeze again.  It will probably still be too treacherous to travel tomorrow.

This has been an unusual weather year for us.  In January we had ice, but that’s when we usually have some cold weather and ice.  In November and December we had ice storms.  In my mind, the snow storm while we were in South Dakata  in October counts for us, too.  Now the question is:  what do the coming winter months have in store for us?

Update – today, Monday, Dec. 9:

fog1213Still have the ice.  Now a heavy fog and icy wind is forming ice on the trees.

fog1213bIf ice forms on the power lines, it could mean a power outage.  It looks like we’ll be here for awhile.  So glad we bought groceries and propane for the fireplace.

“Username or Password is Incorrect.”  Well.  At least tell me which one it is.  – T shirt humor

Cold Snap

The weather this week has been all over the map.  The first two days had mild temperatures with 55 mph winds for hours on end.  These were followed with a relatively calm day with a high near 80 degrees.  That was a great day to work outside.  Like the snap of your fingers, a hard freeze this morning came and went quickly with a high temperature of 60 in the afternoon.icyclehollyI got outside before 7 am this morning to snap pictures of the icicles on plants.  There was no moisture last night –  just the sprinkler system that created these winter beauties.  This Yaupon Holly is dripping with ice crystals

icyclerose3A Knock Out Rose covered in ice.

icyclerose4An earth kind rose bush already leafed out.

icyclestree2The rising sun behind a Cherry Laurel Tree.

icyclestreeThe ice on this Cherry Laurel and every other plant melted so fast, there was no sound of dripping.

icepergolatwirlingbirdMakes me shiver.

icealmondThis Sweet Almond Bush has not been pruned back, yet.

icebirdbathIce on the grass, birdbath, and newly planted Redbud Tree.

Even though this was a fake winter wonderland and brief in existence, the sight was a treat to see it.

“It’s a strange world language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water.”   Franklin P. Jones