February 25th, 2003
Week 08: Late Freeze

photo: sleet-covered daffodils

2003-02-25. ‘Quail’ daffodils covered in sleet. Austin, TX (zone 8).

Sunday was clear and sunny and almost hot. The temperatures reached the high 70s and the men rowing and jogging along Town Lake had doffed their shirts. The car was so hot inside that we turned on the air conditioning.

This weekend I was busy noting numerous first flowers: the redbud, the viola (from seed), the ‘Trevithian’ daffodils, and the grape hyacinths. Several bluebonnets were flowering. The ‘Ice Follies’ and ‘Quail’ narcissus and the summer snowflakes were in full flower. The smaller Mexican plums were just beginning to bloom. And the Bridal Wreath spiraea and the Lady Banksia rose were covered in small buds.

Then Monday dawned drizzly and cold, as most of February has been. Around 5PM, AJM called me from North Austin to say it was sleeting. I went outside and it was sleeting here too. I moved the potted plants back inside, but there wasn’t much else I could do. I was completely unprepared for what followed.

The Big Freeze (a photo gallery).

by M Sinclair Stevens

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