Posted in Plants

Frozen Lilac

Compared to yesterday, this morning has been positively balmy, with the temperature already breaking 40°F after having plummeted below freezing last night.  Despite that fact, the lilac shrub above still shows evidence of the wind direction and a hint at the temperature swing in the last 24 hours.

I noticed it yesterday when were running a once monthly errand, but I did not manage to get a picture of what the shrub looked like then (a lot more ice.)  The lilac was poorly placed in the narrow between the driveway and the front porch.

That corner is also currently smack dab next to where the front yard rain barrel sits each year, and right now there is no downspout or rain chain present since we’d been debating about when to bring the rain barrels back out.  So there is likely some splash from the gutter water being blown by the wind as well as off the top edge of the porch roof that increased the chance of that happening.

The charcoal colored patch in the top right corner you can see in the photo through the shrub is the driveway, to give you a sense of horizon there. We have been wanting to regrade along that slope both to add steps up from the lower part of the driveway to the front walk, as well as regrade the narrow slope between the foundation and the driveway.

We’ve been working in bits over time on the regrade overall (partly due to sediment build up on the south/western side due to all the trees and such there.)  I also want to move it because our water and sewer mains run just a step off where the lilac was transplanted.  That’s not a good thing since we likely still have the original pipe under the sloped front yard that’s about 85 years old or so now as this home was the first built on this lot in 1935.

I was trying to remember if anything like that could be seen when we had a bad ice storm in Western NY where I went to undergrad.  I do remember everything looking like it was encased in ice, but I don’t particularly recall any angle of icicles other than pretty much down during that time.

Speaking of ice, when I was trying to see if there was a name for this angle of icing happening, I found a page about strange ice formations.  Guess what I found there?  The type I saw along the driveway slope the other day: Needle Ice.  Serendipitous lesson!

So although I did not find the term for when ice seems to form based on wind direction, which is likely due to my lack of weather related vocabulary to choose the right search words.  If I find it later, I’ll be sure to share.  If you know, please let me know in a comment below.  I would really appreciate the lesson.  Also let me know if you’ve seen this sort of icicle formation before as well!

That shrub has had taken ice after buds before, so it may be fine.  I should do some research to see if this means we might have to push off transplanting it for the regrade if the stress from the late ice and snow was too much.  I’ll report back when I find out more information.  I really wanted to share this image today before I start doing what can be done here today.  The backyard grass is already waving in the wind, so even though I’ve been holding off for any leaf and lawn hibernators that might still be awaiting steadier warmth, I might just set the blade height the highest before I start pushing our reel around (avoiding the few dandelion patches because there’s not much else but violas for the bees so far, and before yesterday, I’d been seeing the Northern Goldens every day last week–kept missing them for a photo though!

Care to share thoughts on this?