A touch o’ the frost

After the surprising snow and ice we received this morning, I decided to take a walk to see if it had provided any presentable views I could share.  Let me note we did not get significant snow this morning.  Although we started with the fluffy stuff, it rapidly degenerated into a sleet storm.  That lasted about three hours punctuated by waves of precipitation.

All that said, it did offer a crunchy topping to an already frozen ground.  Below find a handful of pictures showing nature donned in her icy best.  It’s not a significant display, but it certainly is wintry.

You can safely assume I first headed to the footbridge I love so much.  You’ve already seen it blanketed with snow and standing beneath autumn’s canopy.  Now you can see it bathed in ice.

The footbridge at the lake covered with ice (166_6682)

And a slightly different view because I love that bridge so much.

The footbridge at the lake covered with ice (166_6678)

What should be obvious in both pictures is that very little ice stuck to the foliage.  What little snow might have been caught in plant hands quickly was knocked to the ground by the sleet that followed.

Standing at the leading edge of the bridge, I grabbed a quick shot of the creek that runs beneath it.  This is only one of many creeks, streams, and tributaries that feed the lake.

The creek under the bridge framed by ice (167_6734)

Eventually I made my way to the shore.  Some of the lake has frozen in those areas where it is protected from wind and, therefore, movement, but mostly it remains clear, albeit quite cold.  I snapped this shot standing at the mouth of one of the major creeks where it joins with the lake.  The waterfowl you see are mostly American coots (Fulica americana), although I know there were gulls and ducks in the area as well.  (As a side note, I did capture shots of the coots and other wildlife, but I’ll post those separately in the future.)

Looking out across the lake with a blanket of ice leading to the water's edge (166_6687)

One of the many interesting views available was not of the lake or surrounding water sources.  Instead, it involved the floodplain bordering the largest creek on this side of the lake.  This past Friday and Saturday brought us torrential downpours—before the temperature fell below freezing, that is.  With so much rain in so short a time, the creek overflowed its banks and left the floodplain looking like a new extension of the lake.  What made it interesting today is that the entire body of water has frozen.  Because it remained flooded due to so much rain, and because the temperature fell so quickly and has remained below freezing, one could easily mistake it for an ice skating venue.  I particularly enjoyed this view with the tree.

The frozen floodplain bordering one of the largest creeks (166_6675)

Finally, this almost invisible scene caught my eye as especially telling.  It’s a dandelion clock (Taraxacum officinale) with pellets of sleet caught amongst its seeds.  So not only is it framed against an icy ground, but it has ice caught in its hair.  Poor thing.  Talk about a bad hair day.

The frozen floodplain bordering one of the largest creeks (167_6717)

As I’ve said, this by no means was a disastrous ice storm, although it did catch everyone off guard because it was forecast to hit well south of us.  Nevertheless, it did provide a nice touch o’ the frost to remind us winter is not yet done with Texas.  As we continue to have chances for wintry precipitation through the weekend, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the week takes shape before we finally get some sun and warmer temperatures.

2 thoughts on “A touch o’ the frost”

  1. What’s funny is we usually get snow and ice a handful of times each year, and bitterly cold temperatures aren’t unusual here (although the Texas Panhandle gets a lot more of both). It’s just that we’re better known for our unbearable heat because . . . well, we get a lot more of that the other nine months of the year!

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