This morning before sunrise, the temperature on my hill bottomed out at 26.1 degrees F. I estimate that it stayed in the 26-degree range for several hours. This is not good news.
I’m pretty sure the spring veggies are fine. I covered them last night thusly:
This morning, I removed the covers after the temperature went above freezing and the sun was well up. Judging from the Sugar Ann Snap Peas, the veggies came through the freeze with no difficulties.
The trees, however, did not fare as well, I fear. Certainly, my magnolias — Butterflies and Elizabeth — are sad-looking indeed. Butterflies had finished blooming and begun putting out some (thankfully, not all) tender new leaves. They are limp brown little things now. Elizabeth was still covered in creamy flowers. They are all now slimy dark brown.
Based on those two trees, I’m worried that the 80-foot tulip poplars and sweet gums, whose leaves were at about the same stage of emergence as Magnolia ‘Butterflies,’ are now equally limp and sad. But they are too far away for me to tell. In a few days, I’ll know. If the ground becomes littered with brown slimy tiny leaves and flower buds, I’ll know.
Seeing the damage done by the cold made today’s sunshine that much crueler. Where were you, sun, when they needed you?
Tomorrow, the clouds are predicted to return and linger for several days. Temperatures will also drop 15 or 20 degrees from today. Not cold enough for another freeze. Just cold enough to make the predicted precipitation (yeah, right — I’ll believe it when my gauge registers it) chill aging bodies to the bone.
Fingers crossed that all is not lost for the canopy giants. You’ll know when I know.