California Dreaming

by Donna Lewis

I was just going to show the monthly progress of my pollinator garden when the artic blast occurred. It was horrible. One of the things I dislike the most is COLD weather!  It ruined the garden progress, along with our water well.

The damage to our wildlife friends was severe. Many birds did not make it through the freezing temperatures. That was very sad for me. I put out ten times the bird seed that I normally use. I hope it helped some of the birds make it through. Nature can be swift and harsh when it wants to, then forgiving and magical the very next day. 

I guess it’s my age, but I always think of certain songs that seem to fit the moment and the mood. When the cold weather was on its third day or so, my mind went to “California Dreaming on such a winter’s day… ”   Then when the cold was fading away I thought of John Lennon’s  “Here comes the sun.”

Here are a few photos taken during the event.

I hope the photos I take next month are more cheerful.

Do what you can do, where you are.

Help Carolyn ID Her Tracks

by Carolyn Henderson

I went out at 7 a.m. to measure the snow fall for CoCoRAHs. I saw some tracks over my driveway, down my patio and across my back yard. I have attached pictures to see if anyone can identify the critter to whom they belong.

Please let me know, so I can accurately post them on iNaturalist. I’m guessing a raccoon or skunk. They seem too large for a squirrel or cat, and to distinct for an armadillo.

Snow Time with Pamela

by Pamela Neeley

[Various members of our Chapter are sharing their snow memories from January 3, so we can look back on them in the future. Here are photos from Pamela Neeley’s farm just north of Cameron.]

These photos are when the snow first started. Later the trees you see will be full of snow and their branches touching the ground. If you want to see any image larger, just click on it.

Ruby the dog growled at the snow, with the ridge of fur on her back while she explored. She preferred to stay on the road and not walk on the actual snow. She was happiest back in the house on her sofa!

After the snow had fallen more, the art looked very interesting, and the evergreens had a heavy burden to bear (around town, a lot of limbs broke).

Later on, the farm was visited by a large flock of black vultures. There were at least 30 in the sky, while at least four of them rested on fence posts.

A Snowy Wildscape

by Catherine Johnson

Gary drove me to the Milam Wildscape in the storm through back roads, which were safe.  In addition to the snow, the Wildscape had also just recently received 9 inches of rain, but it held!!   

Enjoy some photos of the wintry wildscape!

It’s almost unrecognizable!

In the gallery below, be sure to click the images to see them full size!

Snow Reports

by Lynn Hagan, Debbi Harris, Carolyn Henderson, Sue Ann Kendall, Donna Lewis, Phyllis Shuffield, and Cindy Travis

Our area got much more snow on January 10 than we usually get. Lots of folks in the area received between four and six inches. We saw many beautiful pictures in our Facebook feeds, but here are a few more, so that our friends who are our blog subscribers can see what the natural beauty of Milam County looks like with a blanket of snow.

This gorgeous view from Lynn Hagan sets the scene.

By the way, here’s an issue a lot of us Master Naturalists had to deal with. Our CoCoRaHs rain gauges got all full of snow. We hope they get an accurate reading once the snow melts.

Carolyn Henderson’s rain gauge filled with snow for the first time.

Yesterday, we showed you what Cindy Travis’s house looked like when it first started snowing. It got just beautiful after a few more hours.

The horses were smart and stayed under the shelter!

Over at Donna Lewis’s place, the birds were brave. She reports:

Donna’s brave birds

“I bet we were not the only ones to have 8 inches of snow  and ice. Last night we had no heat, no TV and no internet. All but the heat has finally returned.

We have limbs and maybe some trees down. What a day for our little hummers. But they survived. I made warm sugar water for them early this morning.”

Says Donna, “A real Texas sized snowman family!!!”

Phyllis Shuffield got a LOT of snow on her property. Her trees were beautiful.

Snowscape from Phyllis

Sue Ann really liked the snow as it set gently down on the trees in her little woods. It was a great day to explore!

Snow on trees at Sue Ann’s ranch

Lynn Hagan lives on a hill with a view, so some of her snow shots had actual vistas!

A world of snow!
Two views from Lynn’s place.

More Photos!

After we first published this post, we got some more submissions, so we decided to just add them here. It’s all so beautiful and well worth saving, because it doesn’t happen often.

Debbi Harris reported that they got 6″ of snow in Griffin Chapel.

Donna Lewis got some more photos off another camera, and sent these beauties in. You can see a black-chinned hummingbird in the feeder photo.

Lynn Hagan also sent in a few more photos of the trees around her place.

Update from January 12

The snow melted a lot on January 11, but then it got really cold overnight. The ground was very moist, which is conducive for fog formation. Since it was cold, the result was frozen fog! There’s weather you don’t see often. This let to a very thick blanket of frosty ice, especially where the snow had melted but it was very damp. Sue Ann got some photos of the frost at the Hermits’ Rest Ranch.