2007 Ice Storm - Scenes from the Gone Native Arboretum
In January of 2007, West Texas experienced the most severe ice storm in at least two decades. Winter weather remained in the region for 10 days, surpassed only by stretches of 20 days in 1983 and 1886. The ice remained on some of the vegetation throughout the ten days, the longest recorded since the days of Anglo settlement.
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The first "name" for the Gone Native Arboretum was "The Cactus Patch." Hundreds of clumps are found on the 16.6 acres. As a result, it is often the first plant species to be examined by a visitor.
Pine needles became completely coated with ice, yet the tree trunk to the right (with green moss) was not covered. A path leads underneath a row of Afghan pines and pinyons and bordered by evergreen sumac and Texas sage.
The northern side of the grove has succeeding windbreaks of tallgrass and Afghan pines.
In the pasture to the north of the tree grove, a cane cholla stands isolated.
The strong curves of the cholla are accented by the ice on the stems.
In super close-up, an observer can see how the ice accumulated on the stems of the cholla.
To the left the gray leaves of Texas sage without ice are duplicated by the ice on the fortunata rose and beebrush along the path to the northwestern corner of the cantina.
The ice on the eastern red cedar was more transparent that other accumulations of ice.
Ice on the old leaf midribs of Mexican bird-of-paradise accentuates its delicate arcs. The twigs of the plant provide a strong counterpoint to the design.
In a broader view, the bird of paradise is in the foreground of a view of the jujube thicket with its yucca and prickly pear ground cover.
Notice how individual clumps of ice grew together, filling the spaces between the chinaberry fruit.
A mesquite thorn in detail shows two levels of transparency in the ice.
Even pine cones were completely covered with a sheet of ice.
The seedhead of a tallgrass gives an observer another interpretation of how ice formed on vegetation.
The yellow stalks of the tallgrass glowed in the white landscape.
Even a pesky weed such as careless weed became something beautiful when covered in ice.
The structure of individual cactus, yucca, and mesquite was boldly outlined by the ice.
The red fruit of the Chinese pistache "burned like an ember" under the ice.
The fallen red leaves of Chinese pistache provided a startling background for delicate grasses rimmed with ice.
Windmill grass captured the ice gracefully.
For a few hours on the third day of the storm the sun emerged for several hours. The vegetation sparkled like crystal.
A broad view of the Gone Native pasture with mesquites in the foreground and the Arizona Cypress next to the windmill.
Jujube twigs were coated in ice as well.
A lotebush, still with a few leaves, was also coated with ice. Notice the tiny overwintering ovaries that will become dark blue berries in May.
The Arizona Cypress, when coated with ice, presents a high mountain atmosphere.
Sand sage collected tiny balls of ice on its tiny narrow leaves, and the branches arc gracefully against the reddish sand beneath.
The branches of the mesquite appeared to be a low whitish fog hovering over the tawny grasses of winter.
Ice on the pines were another "high mountain" scene transplanted to the broad flat Llano Estacado.
A strong wind set the pines in motion, and the ice on the trunks cracked in a regular pattern in response.
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