Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 5th, 2023

Austin’s 2023 ice storm

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During the overnight from January 31st into the morning of February 1st freezing rain descended upon Austin. The weight of the accumulated ice brought down many branches and even whole trees, along with lots of power lines, so that hundreds of thousands of people in Austin lost electricity. In our neighborhood, power (and therefore for us also heat) went out at 4:35 AM on February 1st and didn’t come back till bedtime on February 3rd. In between we dressed in multiple layers of clothing inside the house and slept in sleeping bags with two blankets over them. Despite the ordeal, what nature photographer could pass up the chance for pictures? And this time I needed to go no farther than our yard. These two photographs show yaupon trees (Ilex vomitoria) covered with ice. Above is a good-sized one in the side yard whose branches were bowed from (but not broken by) the weight of the ice. Below is a young yaupon out front near the curb.



We used a camping stove twice on Wednesday and once on Thursday to make hot food and drinks, but by then our two little propane tanks had run out of fuel. Late Thursday afternoon, using a small chain saw, I managed to clear enough branches from one side of the driveway that we could get the car parked on that side of the garage out and go have supper in a restaurant. If you’d like a purely informational, non-aesthetic picture showing the Ashe juniper tree (Juniperus ashei) that had collapsed across the driveway, you can click the thumbnail below.



A closeup of that now-gone Ashe juniper’s trunk appeared as the second picture in a 2020 post.


More ice storm pictures next time.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 5, 2023 at 4:30 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

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