Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Springtime Ice Storm

Yup.  It's spring on the prairie.

We woke up, this 10th day of April, to a covering of ice on everything above ground level.  Oh, I've seen worse, but this is enough to make the branches clatter in the slightest breeze and to make the foolhardy plants with new leaves look miserable.

The evergreens aren't looking too happy either.  Yet another reason why there's really only one evergreen native to the prairie, the eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana).

At this time of year, it's especially obvious which plants aren't prairie natives:  the Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana), with its heavy load of full blooms....

the lilac (Syringa vulgaris), with its newly opened and expanding leaves...

the red buckeye (Aesculus pavia), also with newly open and expanding leaves.

Unlike the lilac or the Callery pear, the red buckeye is actually native to North America, but to parts east and south of here, rather than to here specifically.  Sometimes that can really make a difference.

I'm not too worried about most of the natives we have, and the ice doesn't seem heavy enough to cause much branch damage, even to the non-natives, but I doubt we'll have much of a Callery pear crop this fall.  The cedar waxwings will miss the berries.

On the plus side, as I hurriedly walked about, trying to keep my camera dry, one item I saw made me extremely happy.  Do you notice anything special in the photo below?

If you look a little closer, you'll see what I mean!

The draw has water in it!  Enough water that I couldn't walk across it without getting wet up to my shins!  Too much water to jump across!

I haven't seen that much water in the draw for probably 2 years.  This is certainly a major silver lining to this cloud of an ice storm.


Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

You certainly got more of the ice freezing on everything. Water in the draw is great!

Gaia Gardener: said...

Wichita must have received more than we did - I've been hearing reports about Bradford (Callery) pears breaking down up there. I gather you didn't get the ice, GonSS?

ProfessorRoush said...

Yikes. From experience I can tell you that in a few days, those lilacs will be brown and shriveled. So much for this year's blooms. Interesting that we didn't get ice yesterday, although farther north, but I'm not betting against tonight with it's 28 degree predicted low.