Melting Hike

It has been unusually cold in Texas, which you know if you have paid any attention to the news in the US. My household made it through without any real problems. A few days of mostly no electricity and almost non-existent water supply. If you want to read about how woefully unprepared the state of Texas was for this weather, read any news site. It is Saturday now and the temperatures are way up and everything is melting. I still have to boil drinking water for the foreseeable future, but that’s not the end of the world.

I did get tired of being in the house and managed to get out and go for walks in the cold and only slipped and fell a couple of times. The photo above shows the small tree that I once shot in the fog, but now it is covered in ice, surrounded by snow, and has a frozen over pond in the background. I have never seen weather like this in central Texas. Snow is very rare here and it has snowed several times this winter.

Saturday morning was clear and warming and I went for a hike at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge as I figured there would still be snow on the hillside. And there was, especially in the shade. The hike up the ridge was quite slippery but I managed not to fall.

Snowy Trail at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

I didn’t venture out here during the week as the roads are very hilly and isolated, and I didn’t want to risk sliding off the ice covered roads. I did want to get out in time to see the landscape with a little snow on the ground. I think that the prickly-pear look particularly out of place in the snow.

Prickly-Pear in the Snow at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

I also hoped to see the round-topped hill with snow on it and I think I got a nice photo of it looking through the trees.

Snowy Hill at Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge

The two step-stone paths across the creek looked picturesque with frozen water and some remaining snow.

I wouldn’t want to be the old settlers who had to live in shacks like this in the winter or summer. I’ll take my minor inconvenience over this any day.

With the snows melting, the dormant wildflowers should be getting plenty of water to make a nice showing in a month or two. I can’t wait. Thanks for reading.

22 thoughts on “Melting Hike

  1. Thinking of the good people of Texas through all of this rare winter storm weather. We live in ice and snow as your northern neighbours, where it’s five-six months of ice and bad weather, which is why Texas appeals to many of us Canadians as a winter getaway. Glad to hear the snow is melting. We will have it around here another 2 -3 weeks. Sometimes we’ve had the odd blizzard into May or June.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear that you’re OK and that you managed to get out to take some photos. The cactus in the snow looked a little surreal but it’s probably quite common!

    ( I hadn’t realised the Texas power grid was so isolated from the rest of the US, sounds horrendous )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is mainly a “we don’t want no federal gubament gettin in our energy bidness.” attitude. Basically, if Texas goes it alone and it doesn’t cross state lines, the federal government can’t regulate it.

      It means we don’t get to share and balance power with other states in tough times. The upside is….. I’ll let you know when I figure out the upside.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Glad to know you survived the winter blast without any major problems!
    And glad you didn’t fall while taking these pics, for you don’t want to hurt your camera. 🙂
    The prickly pear picture and frozen creek are my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Living in snow country, it’s always a little surprising to hear how much it can shut things down in places where it’s not just a routine part of life and infrastructure. But I’ll admit that your icy branches shot (last post) looked a little terrifying, even to my snow-blind eyes. I’m not accustomed to having to dig out with a pick.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes in the summer, I hear of people up north having big problems with a heat wave causing suffering. Then they say the temperature is like the mid to upper 90s and that sounds like a mild summer day to me. What’s the problem? But they just aren’t set up to deal with the constant heat I guess. It is about 6 months a year of life here.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Locally, it’s rather a summer escape… 90F, pretty much unknown here. I do have to work on heat endurance when it warms. But it’s so dry in the region that it’s not much of an issue, even in the desert to the east. I have some photos that I took from the Buddhist temple at the top of Hieizan (Mount Hiei, near Kyoto), of fog over the forests toward Lake Biwa. It was June, right after a typhoon…
        100F, 100% humidity. Found my limit.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Certainly out in west Texas the air is drier, but east and coastal Texas are quite swampy. It is somewhere in the middle in central Texas.

          East Texas is a completely different climate than west Texas. It isn’t all canyons and deserts here. East Texas is heavily forested and quite damp.

          Liked by 2 people

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