Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Friday, February 4, 2011

So this is winter!

Well, now. Hasn't this been fun? At a time when we here near the humid Gulf Coast are usually preparing to prune our roses and plant our new perennials for the coming season and are dreading the early onslaught of summer's heat, we are hit with 20 degree temperatures and, in some places at least, snow and ice. So this is what winter is like!

It seems strange to have such cold weather for such an extended period in the month of February here in Southeast Texas, but the climate is changing and we probably had better brace ourselves for more of these extreme weather events in our future.

We had just the lightest dusting of snow in our yard when we got up this morning. I had to head into Northwest Houston for an appointment at mid-morning and the roads were clear. The bridge over Spring Creek and all the other bridges along the way had been treated with the de-icer and the overpass at Tomball had been closed as a precaution. The Department of Transportation had done a good job.

(And isn't it a comfort to us to know at a time like this that we have people out there on the job making the way safe for the rest of us? I wonder how often any of us really stop to think how much we owe to hard-working government employees who keep the wheels of society turning. They are often poorly paid and frequently vilified and demonized by a certain segment of the population, but we would be in a real mess without them. Of course, as a former government employee myself, I might be slightly prejudiced, but I really don't think I overstate the case. There. Now I feel better! But I digress...)

On my way back from my appointment, I stopped by Tractor Supply to get some more suet cakes and fruit and nut mix for the birds. They've been emptying my feeders at an alarming rate this week, and as soon as I got back home, I carried my new supplies outside to refill the feeders. I'm now having to refill some of the feeders, such as the thistle seed socks, every day.

After I finished filling the feeders, I went on a walk around the yard. I couldn't help noticing that many of my shrubs and perennials that had held onto their leaves until now were looking decidedly droopy today. I expect a lot of those leaves will be dropping over the next few days.

As I walked through the vegetable garden, I was a little surprised to see that even some of the brassica crops that usually shrug off our cold weather were looking a bit flattened. I think, though, that at least some of them will perk back up when the weather warms a bit.

That warm-up could come as early as this week-end, although the weather forecasters tell us we may be in for at least a couple more days of very cold weather next week. Ah, well, it gives me time to read and blog and get my Felcos ready for rose pruning. Because it will soon be time for that, you know.


  1. Hope the warm weather comes fast to you!

  2. We had a beautiful sunshiny mild day yesterday and we're having another one today, fer, so, for the moment at least, it has returned.