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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Encased in Ice (Tennessee Snow Storm of 2010)

They were right! There, let it be said that the weather predictors and prognosticators said we were going to have snow and we did. Unfortunately the manner of snow and the amount of snow differed from what the forecast originally said (which was 2-3 inches at one point). Currently we have between 4-6 inches of snow with a nice smooth layer of ice on top just to make things interesting! The ice isn’t good for getting around town and we’ve been stuck at home (nothing new since we are boring people and don’t do much anyway) watching the snow fall. What the ice is good for though is pretty cool (sorry for the pun). Sledding was the main attraction of the day with our slope in the backyard becoming a valuable asset. Several neighbors joined us outside on the hill at various times to ride down my version of the Olympic bobsled! (or was it the luge? I always get those mixed up.)

Snowy Backyard Slope 1-2010-1

The other really cool thing that ice is great for is photography. I caught some really nice ice pictures today particularly of the ornamental grasses. I found it amazing how the ice built up on the stems of the branches and trees and in some cases completely encasing them. It was almost like the world was made of glass.

Yoshino Cherry

Yoshino Cherry Tree Encased in Ice 1-2010-1

Red Maple 

Red maple buds encased in ice 1-2010-1


Sassafras encased in ice 1-2010-1

The ice also covered our structures and made interesting shapes as icicles were created on...

The Birdbath

Copper Birdbath encased in Ice 1-2010-1

The Arbor 

Arbor covered in Ice 1-2010-1

and a Birdfeeder 

Birdfeeder encased in ice 1-2010-1

By far the most interesting shapes created by the ice were on the ornamental grasses.

The  ‘Shenandoah’ Panicum virgatum could be seen as an ice sculpture from far away.

Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah' Switchgrass encased in ice 1-2010-1

I found the Mexican Feather Grass or Nassella tenuissima very interesting!
 Mexican Feather Grass Encased in Ice (Stipa - Nassella tenuissima) 1-2010-1

But by far the coolest picture of the day has to the the Muhlenbergia capillaris or Muhly Grass. The little beads of ice resemble beads of glass.

Muhlenbergia capillaris encased in ice (Pink Muhly Grass) 1-2010-1

The cold temperatures will be with us until Monday but no more accumulation is expected. That’s probably a good thing – I think we have enough!


  1. Oh, wow. Now, it's bad enough that you grow the lovely and coveted muhly grass ((not hardy here) but then it has to go and make itself into a sculpture worthy of Waterford Crystal? Sigh. Lovely, Dave, just lovely.

  2. Photographs are beautiful, indeed. I hope all your plants will survive. I stopped already to dream about the snow. Maybe, next year...

  3. The ornamental grass photos are amazing!! Especially the last one!

    Stay warm!

  4. At least you had some fun with the snow and ice.. The photos are fantastic, the last one looks like a string of necklace beads...(from a girls eye)

  5. Your pictures of the ornamental grasses just prove that are the perfect plant for all season interest. They are gorgeous!

  6. Jodi,

    The Waterford Crystal look is only temporary unfortunately! I'm sure it will melt as soon as the sun hits it today. It's a good thing I captured the picture yesterday since today looks to be a bright one.


    Thanks! I'm sorry you haven't gotten a blanket of the white stuff yet - there's still time though. Spring is still several weeks away.


    It was very cool to see those images out in the yard. It made the cold temperatures worth having.


    It does! We did have a bunch of fun out there, hopefully we'll get out to do a little more sledding today. I doubt we'll get this much snow again this year, we'd better take advantage of it!


    Thanks! They really are the perfect perennial to plant. I see a lot of them get cut back in the fall and think "You've just ruined your plant for the winter!"

  7. The icicles are pretty and photogenic - but, I'm glad we got only dry snow and sleet. There is no ice on anything. The accumulation has blown off the roof and trees into big drifts in the garden. I haven't ventured out, but the sun is shining today, so maybe I'll take some photos.

    Stay warm!

  8. That is the perfect hill for sledding, and right by your greenhouse!
    Your ice pictures are really pretty, especially those grasses.

  9. Hi Dave..I remember you from the MTPS last Spring/Fall. I just started blogging so come check mine out sometime! Love your ice pictures. I'm your neighbor to the south (near the TN/AL line)Can't wait till the spring swap...what about you. Oh and my gardenweb name is cottagegirl_tn if that helps.

  10. Fantastic Dave, just fantastic. Love those grasses.
    Looks like you have a perfect place for entertainment {winter that is}. Sounds like fun.


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