Saturday, February 23, 2013
The winter in Central Illinois has been, dare I say, boring. A couple of light dustings of snow, a heavy frost here and there. Nothing to write home (or blog) about, at least where the garden is concerned. That all changed on Thursday night, when the first major snowstorm of the year blew across the plains. As our local climate continues to trend warmer, we more often than not end up in that slushy zone known in meteorological circles as the wintry mix.
Thursday was no exception. Four to five inches of snow rapidly accumulated, topped off with a finishing crust of freezing rain. When I woke on Friday morning, still ill with a head cold that had corralled me indoors since Wednesday, I glanced out the front door to see the crabapple encased in ice.
As I drank my morning coffee, cascades of ice fell from the trees each time the breeze blew. If I hadn't know better, I would have sworn that a thousand squirrels were repeatedly running back and forth across the roof. I didn't know how long the ice would stick around with the temperature hovering in the low 30s, so I took a quick walk with my camera around the garden.
On the Eastern side of the house, most plants were fully encased in ice.
The southern and western sides of the garden, under the canopy of our largest trees, were frozen battlefields of ice shrapnel. The trees released a frozen moan each time a breeze moved them, followed by the sound of broken ice clinking off branches on its way to the crusted snow below. I dodged through the garden to avoid being pelted along the way.
Zefr, my trusty, yet slowly defacing garden sentry, looked sadly like a child whose friends had buried him in the snow against his will. His only option was to weather his condition until all the ice had fallen.